Emerald Cedars


I have planted a 4 ft emerald cedar in my backyard. It gets 4-5 hours of sun per day (10am-230pm). The soil skews to clay, but it was amended with compost and garden soil and mulched the surface (leaving space around the trunk). Will this provide enough sunlight? Should the tree be moved to a spot with more sun? Or is that more disruptive to the trees roots?


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

Emerald Cedars do prefer full sun or a minimum of 6 hours. You may have a healthier tree if you move it to a sunnier location.

If you do move the tree there are a few things you can do to give your tree the best chance to thrive.

  • When planting make sure you do not put the tree too deep.
  • At the base of the trunk where the roots start to flare is the depth it should be at. None of the trunk above the roots should be below the soil.
  • You should not amend the soil you put back into the hole, you should only fill the hole with local soil. If the hole is richer than the surrounding soil the roots will stay in the hole rather than growing out and anchoring the tree.
  • Before you plant loosen up the roots and knock off loose soil. Make sure there are no roots going around in a circle- these can grow and strangle your tree. Fan out the roots out as much as possible
  • Mulch around the tree with a donut of mulch. No mulch should be touching the trunk. This will help retain moisture, inhibit weeds and start to loosen the ground below.
  • Monitor the soil around your tree for moisture; water when dry. It is better to water less often and water deeply ( use a hose and leave on for awhile)  than frequent shallow waterings. Water right up to freezing in the fall.

We have many articles in out library about care and issues with cedars. I am attaching one below and also our tree planting guide.

Dying and Browning Emerald Cedars

Planting a Tree: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide