Should we avoid throwing clumps of phosphorus-heavy fertilizer around the root stem of our six-foot cedars? I say yes and my husband says no, because of the big silver maple nearby is “choking the roots” and the “cedar needs something to fight with because they are turning a bit brown.”
Emerald cedars have been the topic of many questions for the Toronto Master Gardeners, so I am going to steer you to a previous post on this subject. Here is a detailed discussion of fertilizers for emerald cedar hedges: http://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/askagardener/fertilizing-emerald-cedar-trees/ This post itself contains other useful links.
If you wish, you could search on our “Ask a Master Gardener” website using “emerald cedar”, and you’ll find all kinds of useful information about this popular hedging evergreen.