My Cedar Shrubs Are Dying: What Is Wrong?

Written by elton dunn
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My Cedar Shrubs Are Dying: What Is Wrong?
Dying hedges have many potential causes. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Tight-knit evergreen foliage makes cedar an ideal privacy shrub, but this plant is not low maintenance. There are many factors that can kill cedar shrubs, or weaken them. Homeowners can correct some problems, but others will kill the tree.

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Cause

Cedar hedges die for many reasons. Rare causes of death include animal injury and diseases. More commonly, these shrubs die from poor soil, poor choice of environment or improper planting. Cedar hedges can decline over a period of several years or all at once.

Symptoms

Plants that turn yellow or brown within one year after planting probably received too much fertiliser or were planted incorrectly. Plants that discolour in parts could have environmental damage that will clear up or a case of mites that needs treatment. If your hedges appear stunted, the soil might be compacted, making it hard for your plant to grow.

Diseases and Pests

While rarer than environmental factors, diseases do affect cedar. Mice, rodents or dogs gnaw at the bark. Tiny white juniper scales -- visible if you look closely -- can harm your cedar, as can mites, which you can't see. Use insecticide to treat your cedar. If your hedge develops black and white leaf blotches, it may have Keithia blight, which responds to copper fungicide. Water-damaged trees can develop root rot and will die from it.

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