Swamp Cedars turning BROWN

wilszDecember 21, 2009

Dear Garden Web Members.

I live in Toronto, Ontario and planted about 6 swamp cedars late last summer in a row running east to west behind my house, the back of which faces east. This summer my neighbor put up a wood fence to the north of them about 1.5-2 feet away. They are turning brown and I'm worried. I was sure I had seen about a 6-7cms of new growth during the summer but they don't look good now. Any ideas? I put them up originally for privacy and to dull some of the noise coming from their backyard, but then they went and put a fence up. I'd still like the cedars their for added privacy. Will they survive the winter? Is there anything I can do? thanks.

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ianna(Z5b)

well describe the area. How far apart were the trees planted, how tall were day, how much sun do they receive, and also important, how much water did they get. Look into the roots. Check for boreholes made by pests.

where is teh browning occuring - which side, the one facing the fence or away from the fence. (this keyboard is misbehaving. Can`t set up the question marks)

trees suffer from either overwatering or underwatering. Whatever trauma it receives over the summer time would reflect later on - much later - so it`s important to reflect what sort of treatment they may have received over the summer. This summer has been a bit wet so check for overflow pooling in this area.

If the trees are planted too tightly in a row, they could suffer from root overcrowding and compete for water.

another thing about water is that if there`s air pockets in between the roots and water freezes in these pockets, it can kill the trees.

I frankly cannot see how a fence can cause trees to start browning. Are your plants tiny, Did the fence cast a day long shadow on the trees.

Its hard to know if they would survive winter. The best you can do is wait till next spring.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2009 at 2:13PM
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wilsz

thanks for your reply ianna. i planted them as far apart as was recommended based on the planting instructions that came with the cedars. about a foot i think. they were about 4-5 feet tall when i planted them. i watered them regularly the first year ('08) but since, as you said this year was wet, i cut back. not much at all because they seemed to be doing well.
re: the airpockets, i didn't compress the soil (as far as I recall) when I planted them. maybe there are air pockets.
i didn't mean to suggest that the fence caused the browning, just wanted to give as much info. as i could think of. i will check which side they're browning on tomorrow morning as it's dark now. i took some photos but i don't know whether i can post them on this site. if i can, please let me know how. i haven't figured it out.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2009 at 8:52AM
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ianna(Z5b)

wilsz, my apologies for a late response. I think your cedars are fine. Unlike emerald cedars, these kinds do have some browning over winter. Wait till next season and see if they recover.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 4:39PM
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jaro_in_montreal

I heard that a fence can cause trees to start browning by reducing air circulation, which allows pests to proliferate.
Could that be an issue ?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 9:13AM
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zuni(5a)

All evergreens needs lots of hydration before the ground freezes in order to avoid desication when the spring winds start to blow. It is possible that your cedars did not have enough time to establish their roots before winter, so they are even more susceptible to drying out.

We may be having a brief thaw now. Make sure your cedars are well-watered before the next deep freeze. Water deeply but not too often thru the growing season, and don't be too quick to think they are dying. Some years there is more browning than others.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 9:15AM
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