We planted 3 cedars last August in the front of our property. They had plenty of water, plenty of sun and looked good going into the winter. This spring they look rough. I put in a few spike fertilizers around and have been watering them the last few days. I wonder whether they have a fighting chance or it’s best just to replace them now.
Hello, thank you for writing Toronto Master Gardeners. We receive a lot of questions on emerald cedars and if you click on the following link, you will get a detailed answer we provided another inquirer, with advice about the care of these trees:
There is lots more information about these cedars on our website. Just type ‘emerald cedar’ into the search box under ‘Find it Here’ on our home page.
To address your situation specifically, I personally would leave the cedars for now to see if they recover. The cedar on the right looks worse than the other two and it may not recover. Cedars like a damp soil, provided the drainage is good. We’ve had a bit of rain lately, but not too many soaking rainfalls, so you should be watering these trees now.
Most reputable nurseries will give a refund if a tree dies in the first year. Since you purchased your trees in August, you have a bit of time to see if you can improve their health. I wouldn’t add any more fertilizer until the cedars are showing signs of new growth or improvement.