Pruning Globe Cedars

(Question)

My 4 year old globe cedars have just been pruned because they were starting to become too unruly and we want to achieve a hedge (20 metres long) that will remain about 20 cm high. There are a few small areas on the side that have little green left and I have been told to fertilize them in the spring and they will fill in. They are very healthy and I am concerned that they might get damaged over the winter because I should have waited until the spring to prune. Too
late! I live in King City and I regularly brush excess snow off
the shrubs. Thank you very much for your input!!!!

(Answer)

Yes pruning your globe cedars at this time might not have been the best idea and here is why, explained by the University of Saskatchewan’s Agricultural College:

“Avoid pruning after mid-July. By late summer, growth has ceased and the buds that will produce next year’s growth have formed. Pruning must be done before these buds are formed. If you remove these buds, the plant will be forced to produce more buds. This will deplete the cedar’s energy reserves and the plant will enter winter in a weakened state and be more susceptible to winter injury.”

So that said I am not quite sure what the question is. Are you wondering how to protect them over the winter, given their weakened state? Or are you wondering about the fertilization in the spring?

Certainly protecting them from snow damage would be a great idea. I wrapped each plant in my boxwood hedge with string every fall, for the first 5 years of their lives, which worked nicely to avoid snow damage. They are now strong enough to winter on their own.

If you were inquiring about fertilizing them in the spring, that would be a great idea. Try something like a 10-8-6.

I hope that we have answered your query. Good luck with your hedge!