Blue Atlas Cedar dying

drail14meSeptember 28, 2009

I planted three Blue Atlas Cedar back in the late Spring. They are planted along a North/South wall on the West side of my home. They get part sun.

After planting and through the summer, they seemed to do REALLY well. All three had new growth and produced cones. Over the last month, they've begun to drop their needles. The Southern most plant has dropped about 25% of it's needles, the middle plant about 50% and the Northern most plant, about 90%.

They are planted in a somewhat raised bed so I don't think drainage is an issue but maybe. I'm wondering thought if they aren't getting enough sun. With the shorter days, would that be what might be killing them?

Should I move the worst to an area with full morning sun to see if it will come back or would that be too much of a shock?

Please help. I want to save these guys but my brown thumb seems to always kick in.



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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

This tree does NOT like transplanting at all. It also requires good soil drainage. Plenty of sunlight is a must but they can survive in less than full sun conditions. Also, the less sunlight a site receives, the colder and wetter the soil might be.

You need to do better than 'guess' at the drainage situation.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 2:24PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Yes. I have one and it is not shedding at all. It gets full sun (or very nearly so) and is not only in a well drained raised bed, but is on a slope too. My bet is the same as rhizo's: either not enough sun or poor drainage. Since it seems certain you're going to lose them where they are, I would personally attempt to transplant them. Since you just set them out in the spring, the roots shouldn't have penetrated into the native soil too much. Give the root ball two or three inches all around the original as you dig, just to be sure.

Another thought: Is it possible you planted them too deeply? Be sure to scrape back any soil that was placed over the top of the root ball. I'd pull excess mulch back a bit too. Can't hurt.

And one more thought: Since the plants are next to a wall, is it possible they are up under the eaves of the building and are not getting enough rain?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 5:50PM
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I agree about donnabasket's point about these trees being planted too deeply!!! Have a look, especially if you have a clay-based soil; you may even need to elevate them slightly above grade on the berm.

Did you buy these trees in containers or B&B?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 10:00AM
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