Alternate conifer to plant
We have had several eastern white pine die because of white pine decline and phytophthora (soil test identified this). The trees were used for a visual backdrop and for noise abatement. I have been told that we could plant some eastern red cedars in their place with little concern for the phytophthora. Is that true? If not what other trees would you be able to recommend. The area is on a large berm made by a developer twelve years ago. It is contains dense clay soil with a very thin layer of organic matter. It's pH is 7.0-7.2. Thank you.
Eastern red cedar should tolerate the dry berm fairly well. The soil pH should be fine.
Any trees you plant should be watered for the first two years (when rain doesn't provide about 1" of rain a week) while they get established. This would be even more critical on a berm. In cooler weather, moisture doesn't evaporate quickly, so in the winter, watering is not necessary. However, do not let your plants do into the winter in dry soil.
Here is phytophthora information: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/phytophthora-root-rot-shrubs