Trimming your cedars

28 June 2019

Trimming your cedars

Spring has finally arrived and July is already around the corner. You’ve started the pool and all you have to do is prune your cedars.

First of all, it is important to know why it is necessary to prune your cedars annually. In some municipalities, there are regulations requiring that the height of cedar hedges not exceed 6 feet. In addition, cedar is a conifer with strong growth. It is desirable to control the height, but also the density when you want to obtain a bushy hedge that will give you the desired privacy. But now, when is the best time to prune that will benefit your hedge?

As cutting stimulates growth, young cedars will grow quickly when pruned early in the summer. For more mature trees, a cut at the end of the season will help maintain good growth.

Ideally, the first cutting should be done between mid-June and the end of September. In fact, you have to proceed when you see about ten centimeters of new growth appear. The new section is soft green and therefore easy to identify compared to the darker foliage of previous years. To make sure you get a branch that will bud again, cut off up to  two-thirds of the fresh growth, to avoid reaching the brown section of the branch where no new foliage can grow. 

In addition, if you cut your cedar too short, you will no longer have room to work the foliage in the desired shape, either conical or pyramidal. It is preferable not to trim your hedge in a rectangular shape, because with the accumulation of snow in winter, your cedars could crush and split.

Why make two cuts? When you prune twice in a year, the foliage becomes denser more quickly. In fact, each trim doubles the density. However, one pruning is generally sufficient to obtain a cedar that looks good.

It is preferable not to prune in periods of great heat or intense sunshine, because the branches will dry and cannot grow again.

What to do when you’ve never pruned your cedars

When you have waited several years before pruning your cedars, the foliage has grown at the very end of the branch, which leaves considerable empty spaces in the heart of your hedge. Once your cedars are pruned, you can over fertilize using a soluble 30-10-10 fertilizer which will stimulate the growth of your trees and replenish your hedge. This fertilization can be done three times or once every three days until July 15. Why so early? Because after that date the cedar slows down to prepare for winter. We should not fertilize in full sun, because you could burn your cedars.

With over-fertilization, it is also possible to carry out a double pruning which could be very advantageous, because it will give your hedge a chance to replenish itself.

And if the over-fertilization was not enough

Well, there is only one solution left, planting new cedars. Although it is ideally recommended that planting of cedar be done in the spring, it is possible to plant cedars at any time. We must however make sure that the soil is well irrigated and see to water often.

Several landscapers will be able to give you good advice when caring for or buying healthy cedars. Do not hesitate to contact them and above all, have a good summer!