Winterizing Your New Cedar Hedge
If you have recently planted Emerald Cedars or Western Red Cedars, you may be wondering what if anything is necessary to do to prepare them for winter. There are not a lot of requirements for getting your new trees ready for winter, but we will go over with you, here, the basic needs.
The Importance of Adequate Watering
Water, and enough of it is the primary concern. You may be thinking that it rains all winter on the Lower Mainland, but you should not rely on rainfall. Not enough water will kill a newly planted tree faster than anything else. Your cedars are not dormant in the winter, and they will continue growing.
Estimating Water Needs
The best rule of thumb is to estimate the needs of the trees based on trunk diameter. Measure or estimate the trunk diameter at the base of the tree, and figure that the tree needs the number of the trunk diameter in inches plus one (+1) in gallons of water twice a week for the first few months until the ground is frozen.
So, if your tree has a one-inch trunk diameter, then it needs two gallons of water twice a week. There are some complicated calculations we can do to convert PSI or pounds per square inch of water flow into gallons per minute or GPM, but there is also the no-fuss quick estimate. Give your trees the amount of water from your hose, wide-open, for one minute per one inch of trunk diameter twice a week. This is a good ballpark estimate for new trees.
Mulching for Protection
It is a good idea to mulch your trees. Use 3-4 inches of mulch. This protects the roots from big temperature swings and preserves water evaporation in the summer. Remember that mulch breaks down over time, so you need to add more each year. Don’t let the mulch touch the trunk of the tree. Leave a gap, so the trunk can breathe.
The most important takeaway here is to continue to water your trees if you have just planted them until the temperature outside is below freezing.
Pacific West Cedars, based in Langley, British Columbia, farms, supplies, and installs cedar hedging on the Lower Mainland. They offer two kinds of cedars plus boxwoods: Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), and Emerald Cedars (Thuja occidentalis “Smaragd”). They work with landscapers, contractors, and also directly with the public.
If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about cedars, we encourage you to call us at (778) 241-5664.