I am looking for a fast growing evergreen/hedging that need little maintenance after first year. I have approximately 500 ft to plant.
In addition what is the type of fertilizer is best for established cedars, 15 to 25 feet at this time
Many thanks Anthony
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.
You don’t mention if you planting site is in shade, part shade or full shade. Do you have clay soil, sandy, or loamy?
The Toronto Master Gardeners have been asked this question many times so we have created a short garden guide on the topic which might help in your selection, see the link below:
Here are two choices, one for full sun, one for shade:
Eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) is a fast-growing native tree that is commonly used for hedges. Even though it prefers full sun conditions, it can tolerate part sun. However, the fact that it is ‘fast-growing’ indicates that it would need to be pruned regularly to maintain dense growth that one would prefer in a hedge.
A better low-maintenance choice that will grow very well in shadier conditions would be either an Upright Japanese Yew (Taxus cuspidata ‘Capitata’) or a Hick’s Yew (Taxus x media ‘Hicksii’). Both have dense upright habits. Nevertheless, they will require minimal pruning occasionally to maintain a nice hedge shape once they are established. Yews are generally slower-growing than the white cedars; attaining a 10-ft. height would depend upon how tall the plants are when they are purchased.
Fertilizing cedars been the topic of many questions for the Toronto Master Gardeners. Here is a detailed discussion of fertilizers for emerald cedar hedges from one of our archived posts:
“Evergreens require a lot of nitrogen, so 30-10-10 is appropriate. The format of the fertilizer you choose should not be a concern. The only difference is in how you will apply it — remember that it is important to follow directions for the product you select.
Generally, liquid fertilizers just have to be diluted according to package direction and applied; nutrients are available to the plants right away. However, if you don’t follow the directions, the fertilizer can damage the plants. As well, liquid fertilizers usually require more frequent application because they seep deep into the soil, becoming unavailable to the plants.
On the other hand, granular fertilizers are simply sprinkled on the soil surface and their nutrients released gradually – when it rains or when you water the plants. Accordingly, the nutrients are not immediately available to the plants. A disadvantage of granulars is that soil pH (acidity/alkalinity) may impact their effectiveness. Again, if applied incorrectly, granular fertilizer may damage plants.
For more detailed information, take a look at an earlier Q&A posted on our website, “Fertilizing cedar hedges“, which provides practical information for you.
By the way, if you search on our “Ask a Master Gardener” website on the word “emerald”, you will find several Q&A concerning emerald cedars – not just about fertilizers!”
For further information on plant choices for growing hedges, please see the following guides on the Toronto Master Gardeners site: