Hedge cedar


Hello There, in my Pyramid cedar hedge a ‘hole’ got opened and thus the screen is now void – please see the attached pictures. The ‘gap’ I want to ‘close’ gets only partial sun (from the front-Sout side); laterally too be shaded by the sedars to the left and right. Should I plant a Yew, DeGroot’s Spire Eastern Cedar, or what? Thansk! Tony M. 416/239-7479 — in Etobicoke, Toronto-Ontario


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.

Unfortunately, your picture was not attached to your question.’Degroot’s Spire’ is a cultivated version of Thuja occidentalis. This cedar is a dwarf, slow-growing, evergreen shrub with an upright, pyramidal habit which thrives in full sun ( 6 hours of direct sunlight), however it will tolerate partial shade (3-6 hours of morning or early afternoon sun). At maturity this type of cedar will grow to be about 12 feet tall, with a spread of 3 feet within 15-20 years. Degroot’s cedars tolerates a wide range of fertile well-drained soils.

Because your evergreen will be grown partial shade conditions, you may wish to go with a yew, Taxus variety rather than a cedar.  As mentioned above, cedars have a preference for sun/partial shade conditions, and while the Japanese Yew will be slower growing in the shade, it will eventually provide the privacy that you are looking for. According to Dirr’s Encycolpedia of Trees and Shrubs “ yews thrive in sun or shade in moist or dry soils, however good drainage is essential for it’s success”.

There are many cultivars of Yews depending on what size you are looking for. Pyramid Japanese Yew ( Taxus cuspidate ‘Capitata ) is an upright yew with a mature height and width of 3m x 150, T. cuspidate ‘Upright’ is a broader version of the Pyramid Yew.

Whatever you end up choosing, do make sure that you are giving your newly planted evergreen a good start by topdressing with compost or manure which will help provide nutrients as well as helping to retain moisture around the plant.

Happy Planting!