Help diagnose problem with emerald cedars


Hi there,

I planted a row of 6 emerald cedars at the end of May (2.5 weeks ago). There were a few hot days after planting, followed by cooler and rainy weather. Of them, 2 have noticeably yellowed and are drooping, while the others are doing well. From the pictures, you will see that the 2nd tree from the left is struggling the most and the colour is yellow and brown. Whereas the 3rd from the left seems to be a bit better and the yellowing is mostly at the outer parts.

I have searched the past questions/answers on this site and addressed the common suggestions (e.g. keep mulch away from the trunk, adequate watering, using transplant fertilizer a few times, mixing some potting soil with the original soil when planting).

Location is southwest Scarborough, Zone 6. They are along the eastern side of the fence and receive plenty of sunlight throughout the day.

The trees seem to be stable (not improving or getting worse). Do I have a cause for concern here, or will they likely overcome the transplant shock over time? Is there anything I can do to improve the odds?

Also, there are a few dried branches on the other trees which are otherwise doing well. Should I prune these dried branches near the trunk?

Thank you in advance!


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners about your emerald cedars.

Cedar trees particularly those purchased from a big box store are often stressed and the plant failure rate can be high. To ensure success, make sure you have planted them at the correct height in the soil and continue to water them thoroughly and throughout this growing season, until frost. They are very thirsty plants. If you can get them established this year, they should be fine.

Attached is Toronto Master Gardeners Gardening Guide on Hedging for your information and use.

All our Gardening Guides are located on our website. They are a very good resource.

Good Luck.