Cedar trees are not hard to grow and will give your yard a wonderful scent year-round. Cedar has been used for shade trees, hedges and bonsai. There are several types of cedar trees and many trees that look like cedar that are not. The trees grow easily from seed, so if you have a neighbor or a friend that has one, just ask for a cone when they start to fall and you can grow your tree inexpensively.

Step 1

Choose a variety of cedar tree to plant in your yard. Keep in mind your USDA zone so you plant a tree that is compatible.

Step 2

Choose a spot in your yard to plant the cedar tree. Cedar trees like full sun and well-drained soil, but most cedar trees can handle any soil type, from loamy to clay to sand.

Step 3

Plant your cedar tree in the spring, after the ground has thawed. Dig a hole for the tree or seedling deep enough to accommodate the roots. If you are planting a tree, the hole should be about two to three feet deep and two feet wide. If you are planting a seedling, the hole should be about six inches deep and eight inches in diameter. Place the cedar tree in the hole and fill it with soil half way, then fill the hole with water. Allow the soil to soak up the water. Finish filling the hole with soil. Pat it down firmly.

Step 4

Water your cedar tree regularly while it is under a month old. Keep the ground around the cedar moist at all times. Once the tree is older than a month, cut back to watering it once every two weeks for five to 10 minutes each watering.

Step 5

Weed the area around your cedar tree. Allow no weeds to grow and compete with it. Apply mulch to discourage weed growth.

Step 6

Fertilize your cedar with compost or manure applied near the base of the tree in the spring. Mulch around the tree in the fall to help keep the roots warm and the weeds from growing around the tree. Reduce watering in the winter to when the ground is dry and start watering more in the spring.

Step 7

Place a 2-foot wooden stake next to the tree and tie lightly with string. This will ensure the tree will grow straight. Place wire fencing around the tree to prevent mowing over it or animals knocking it down. Water well and then let it dry out before watering again.

Step 8

Prune your cedar tree in the spring while the tree is dormant. Remove any dead or damaged branches. Trim back any over-reaching branches. Shape your cedar how you desire.

How to Prune a Cedar Tree

Cedar trees must be pruned with care and a certain amount of restraint. Cedar tress produce new growth only from last year's growth, so if too much is trimmed it is possible to prevent any new growth and kill the tree. Cedar trees should be pruned only prior to the summer months. Once the buds for new growth have appeared, usually in mid July, cedars cannot be pruned without the risk of preventing next year's new growth and killing the tree.

Cut out all dead or diseased wood, cutting as far back as possible. Wear eye protection and gloves when trimming.

Identify new growth (green) and old growth (brown). Use shears or saw to cut only as much of the green growth as necessary to shape the tree. At least 1 inch of green growth must be left on EVERY branch that is cut. If all green growth is trimmed out, that branch will likely die.

Cut away branches growing straight down and branches growing sideways through the crown of the tree. This will open the crown to light and additional air circulation.

Cut no more than 1/4 of the tree's height when topping a cedar. After removing no more than 1/4 of the trunk, carefully trim branches, being careful to leave at least one inch of green growth on the end of each remaining branch.


·  After topping, expect your cedar to look ungainly for several years as it slowly fills in and regains a new and more pleasant shape.

·  Never prune a cedar tree after the buds for next year's growth have appeared (mid to late summer).

When to Prune Cedar Hedges

Trim cedar hedges in early spring if the effect desired is to make them fuller. Pruning the sides of the hedge all the way around encourages growth outward. However, be cautious, remove only a minimal amount, without destroying any of the top's new bud growth.

Prune the hedge in late spring if the idea is to reduce the height of the bush. Trim several inches, as desired, but no more than about one-quarter of the entire hedge’s growth. Use sharp hedge shears that make clean cuts, without ripping or tearing at the branches.

Prune cedar hedges thoroughly around the middle of summer if the idea is to encourage healthy growth overall. Prune from the top down and around, making certain not to cut away any of the important older wood located in the center of the bush.

Shape the hedge in early autumn only if necessary, but be careful not to prune the bush too deeply. Open or sparse areas left inside the hedge can open it up to problems if the winter is particularly brutal and cold. Delicate branches that haven’t had enough time to strengthen and grow may crack, resulting in serious damage inside of the bush. Additionally, insects and small animals may see this as an opportunity to use the bush as a home, making it hard for the hedge to generate new growth the following spring.

Light: Sun,Part Sun

Zones: 6-9

Plant Type: Tree

Plant Height: 10-120 feet tall

Plant Width: To 100 feet wide

Landscape Uses: Containers,Beds & Borders,Privacy,Slopes

Special Features: Attractive Foliage,Fragrant,Winter Interest,Attracts Birds,Deer Resistant,Easy to Grow

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