I have a row of cedars badly damaged by heavy snow - breakages and large gaps...

Asked June 26, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT

I have a row of cedars badly damaged by heavy snow - breakages and large gaps within. what can I do? Should I trim the hedge down? Or what?I

Outside United States forestry tree health arboriculture conifers evergreen hedge privacy and windbreak

1 Response

The specific answer depends on the type of 'cedar' you have. If you have an arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis, you can cut the hedge down from the top (Not too far). Western red cedars will not handle this top cutting. In general, trim the broken branches back to the next healthy branch union. Conifers have what is called a 'dead zone' on the interior of the trees. They do not regrow new branches like broadleaf trees do when you cut past the living leaf (needle) tissue. So be careful on how far you cut the branches back. Of course, if the branch is broken of dead you will have to cut it out. It could take a while to get the hedge to look uniform again. Be patient. Be sure and tie twine around each cedar in your hedge in late fall before the snow and ice begin. This will help prevent further branch breakage. -Paula Dinius, WSU Extension