Black Cedars

cdrellaSeptember 5, 2006

does anyone have any experience with black cedars? I'm going to be planting 200 trees along the perimeter of my back yard-two sides are in full sun and the third shade, I have sandy soil. I would like them to grow into a privacy hedge . I am buying small(lft) trees and would like approx 1 ft/year growth from them. I was originally told that white cedars are better for this. any suggestions would be welcome! Thanks in advance

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ianna(Z5b)

Never heard of them. Can you elaborate?

Cedars are slow growers and it would take years before you can achieve a good sized privacy fence. perhaps 6 years to get to 7 ft.

Cedars are hardy plants and can grow anywhere. Just keep them well watered after transplanting and do maintain a good watering schedule for the rest of the season until the trees are well established.

Plant in a zig zag manner to maximize privacy. Essentially 2 rows with trees that are overlapping.

Lopped off the top of the tree once it reaches the right height. This encourages the tree to spread out sidewards and halts the top growth. It makes it more dense.

Ianna

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 10:49PM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

Black Cedar is Thuja occidentalis 'Nigra'. I've only read about it, I've never seen it growing, but it sounds like it would be better than White Cedar because it is smaller. Most people don't realize how big White Cedar can get - under optimal conditions it can grow to 40'. Black Cedar is supposed to be 15-20', and is not as wide as White Cedar, so they are even better staggered like Ianna suggested - they take up less room to get a fuller look.

It will take several years to get a good size hedge out of 1' plants though, but it sounds like you expect that. You had better buy a few extras and grow them in similar conditions to your hedge ones - in case you lose some. That way you will have something to fill in those akward gaps!

BP

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 1:48AM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Okay, this gets complicated, but as far as I can tell Black cedar is actually White Cedar, just one particular cultivar of White cedar. Thus their growing needs would be similar. White Cedar, sometimes called Eastern White Cedar or American Arborvitae, has the botanical name thuja occidentalis.

The species ("wild" form) of thuja occidentalis can be an attractive but fairly big and wide tree. I have seen this in the park by my place. They would not be suitable, say, for a tall narrow privacy hedge in your backyard because they want to grow tall, but wide.

There are many cultivars that have been developed of thuja occidentalis that are tall and narrow and great for hedge or screening purposes. Thuja occidentalis 'Brandon', for example, is common around here due to it's tall narrow habit (approx 15 feet tall, 4 feet wide) and it's resistance to winter damage. But there are other tall and narrow ones too, too many to mention all, but such as "pyramidalis", "rushmore", "smargd/emerald" and even "nigra" which is sometimes called Black Cedar. Not sure why it's refered to as black cedar, one site suggested that it's foliage might be denser and darker green than some of the cultivars. Smargd has more of an emerald green color. Pyramidalis might be a medium green, etc.

You also have other forms such as thuja occidentalis 'gold champion' which has gold foliage and is smaller and more round (maybe 3 by 3) instead of upright. "woodwardii" forms a 5 foot round bush instead of tall and narrow.

Anyways, there are numerous cultivars of white cedar (thuja occidentalis) to choose from that are tall and narrow and suitable for your purpose. If you choose thuja occidentalis 'nigra' (black cedar) that would work too, but botanically speaking all it really is is just a named cultivar of white cedar.

Glen

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 3:33AM
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ianna(Z5b)

I've located an online description on types of cedars and their growth specs.

www.sheridannurseries.com/gardenguide04/GGuideSEARCHRESULTS.asp?searchPlantName=cedar&Submit=Search

You probably would be influenced more by the effectiveness of the plant as a hedge tree. Lots of choices apparently. I wouldn't really worry about the ultimate height of the plant because as a hedge, you expect to lop off the top of the tree when that hedge reaches the right height.

Good luck on this one. It sounds like you have a lot garden space and for me that is exciting. Working from scratch. Make it a thick hedge. I suggested you plant it zig zag which gives you a very private area and it allows for a healthy plant. The added bonus is that if a plant dies for whatever reason, you can easily replace it with another plant and it would be less a space to cover.

Make it interesting. Create some as topiaries. YOu can partition your garden into garden rooms using the hedge as well, but for interest you can create 'round windows' in the hedge area to allow you to see through - room to room. Anyway that's just the beginning.

Anyway have fun.

Ianna

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 11:01AM
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neil153624

YES THERE IS BLACK CEDARS !I HAVE ACCESS TO THOUSANDS, THEY ARE DARKER IN COLOUR THAN WHITE CEDAR,AND KEEP THAT TRAIT ALL THE SEASONS OF THE YEAR ,MY CEDARS ARE ABOUT 30 PLUS INCHES WHEN PLANTED,FOR MORE INFO MY PHONE IS 905-797-2958 ..... morcom@eagle.ca..... NEIL MORTON.... LOCATED 20 MILES SOUTH OF PETERBOROUGH ONTARIO CANADA, 1 HOUR'S DRIVE EAST OF TORONTO.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 10:46PM
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