I bought 29 emerald pyramid cedars, 5-6 ft tall. They originated in BC. They were picked up on Fri May 29. I watered them well all weekend and they were planted on Mon June 01. I am a female senior widow and have to rely on the fellow who looks after my garden. They put in a watering system that waters each tree simultaneously and told me to water every day for 1 hour. I do this in the evening and have been keeping up this regime since. I now have 6 trees which are brown and dry. Looking at the information on this website I am worried that I have been overwatering. Also they were fertilized at the beginning as well as planting in bonemeal. If I have overwatered have I taken the nutrients out of the ground and should fertilize again? My help is saying no and still insisting on the water.
I live in Belleville Ontario (but am clicking the Toronto resident) so I hope that you can still answer my question which is “how should I proceed?” Thank you so much for your time and service.
Hmm. Even in the current heat wave, that does seem like excess watering. The aim is to keep the soil moist but never soggy or sopping wet. The only way to know for sure is to check by digging into the soil to see. If you have very clay soil, the water may be settling around the roots and leading to rot. This long after planting, you should not be watering daily. Instead, concentrate on watering the roots with a deep watering once a week or so. And it is best to water early in the morning, not in the evening.
Apply a mulch of compost or other organic material to help retain moisture but keep the mulch several inches away from the trunks. And it would not be a good idea to add more fertilizer to an already suffering hedge. Wait until later in the fall.
If you’ve been looking around our site, you may already have found this detailed response to a previous inquirer with a very similar problem, but check it out here.
Note especially the advice about the nursery’s guarantee on the trees, since you should be able to have them replace the dying ones.