Planting emerald cedar


We are in north Burlington and our soil is clay based. We want to plant 30 emerald cedars along our creek (a metre away from the creek). What’s the best way to plant?


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your inquiry.

Emerald Arborvitae, or Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’ can grow 12 to 14 feet tall, and up to six feet wide in ideal conditions.  So, when planting, space the new cedars with their ultimate size in mind. You may want to consider planting the trees further away from the creek than 1 meter.

These trees need at least six hours of full sun and need to be watered (but not soggy), especially during scorching summers.

Smaller new cedars will likely establish more quickly than plants twice as tall.

Spring is best time to plant a tree. Coniferous trees prefer to be planted from mid to late spring when the soil has begun to warm up. The cooler days of autumn are the second best time to plant. Trees planted early in the fall would have a few months to establish some roots before freeze up.

Full details on planting trees, including emerald cedars, can be found in the Toronto Master Gardener Gardening Guide: Planting a Tree: A Toronto Master Gardener Guide