If you have tall cedar hedges in your garden and would like to know how best to care for them this is your cedar hedge care 101.
Regular trimming of your cedar hedge is extremely important in order to grow a dense and healthy looking hedge. Cedar plants require lots of sun and as neighbouring trees fill in the canopy they can overshadow the hedge and lead to areas of the hedge dying out. It is essential to prune trees to allow the sun to get to the hedge.
When you are trimming a cedar it is important to know that cedars will not generate new growth from the old wood. One wrong cut and you can end up with a big black hole that will not recover. Many people who have previously pruned a laurel hedge and had it generate new growth think that you can do the same with cedars. This is not true. Cedars, if not kept trimmed and maintained, can quickly grow beyond the point of recovery. Do not let more than 15 cm grow before hedging. The best time of year to cut your cedar hedge is in September. This will allow you to cut back summer growth while still leaving enough time for new growth to harden off before winter. It also allows you to get the most value for your dollar as the hedge will look sharp all through the winter before it starts growing again.
Cedar hedges love water and the more you can give them the happier they are. This also reduces the number of needles they will drop, requiring less maintenance when cleaning up your garden.
If you are looking at having your cedar hedge grow taller it can benefit from a good fertilizing as long as it is done between the end of April and the end of June. This is the ideal period where the hedge will grow the most. Most evergreen tree and shrub fertilizers are high in nitrogen that encourages growth of foliage. The most common fertilizer for your cedar hedge is (18-4-8) and can be purchased at most garden centres or big box home improvement stores.
Spring is a good time to clean out dead needles from under hedges. Using a small rake, try to clear out all build up of the dead cedar bits. A cleaned out hedge will allow more air to get to the branches and trunk and make for a happier, thicker, greener hedge.
Depending on how tall your hedge is, trimming may be a project that you are able to tackle on your own but if the hedge is quite tall it be better suited to call a professional company to take care of it for you. There are endless stories of people falling from their ladders while working on trimming cedar hedges.
As prices and quality of work can differ quite a lot it is a good idea to ask friends to refer you to landscaping companies they have been happy with that have trimmed their hedges. Or contact 2 companies and request an estimate and also get a feel for the person and learn about their past experience and quality of work. One of the most challenging parts of trimming cedar hedges is the clean up afterward, which can quickly be overwhelming when you realize the amount of materials that need to be removed. That is another benefit of having a professional company do the work for you, as you can make sure that your garden is left spotless.
I hope you have found this info helpful with regards to the trimming of your cedar hedges.
If you would like additional information about hedge trimming services, you can read more on our services page.