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    1. #1
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      Woody's Avatar
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      Landscaping Advise

      This is the current state of one of the corners in my yard. These were Emerald Cedars. During the drought two summers ago one started to turn red and then they all turned red and brown and died.

      Does anybody know what caused this? Just the dryness? I tried watering but nothing worked.


      We want to redo the corner and put something else up that gives us privacy from the yard behind it.

      Any ideas?


      Thanks Everyone!!

    2. #2
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      Jeff's Avatar
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      Few questions, ideas.

      What kind of tree is that by them? The huge tree in the background and how close is it. Hard to tell from the pictures. However that's one guess on the problem. Depending on the type of tree the root system could be choking out the roots of the cedars. Example is maple trees, the roots do not grow deep, actually only a few feet deep but they grow very dense and thick pretty much as wide as the canopy of the tree. Where Oak, what you see above ground is pretty much what is going on underground. Other things have problems growing below maple trees because of this.

      Soil conditions. Have you ever had your soil checked? Again with that big tree near by, depending on the tree type and the type of mulch used. Those cedar trees prefer more alkaline soil. Pine, as in pine needle, pine bark, pine mulch will lower the PH make it more acidic, also oak trees make the soil more acidic. Most people think grass doesn't grow under oak trees because of all the shade. Quite the contrary, grass will grow in the shade, it is the acidic soil grass doesn't like. So if you have lots of moss and weeds back there, it is a sure sign your soil is too acidic. When I bought my house it has a huge oak tree in the back yard, however no grass. Most of my neighborhood has oak trees. Most of my neighborhood has no grass under those trees either. They were all pretty stunned when about 2 years after I moved in I had a green and lush lawn in the back yard. Twice a year I put lime down in the back yard to raise the PH of the soil.

      Water, as you mentioned. Those cedar trees require a lot of water. Something along the lines of 2 gallons every other day per tree. Not sure but it looks from the picture that your yard is designed right there so water runs away from those cedars, rather than to them. Use of mulch and so on to keep the soil moist and save water there can really help.

      Pests, this might take some really close inspection. However, usually when you have a drought, the trees are weakened, then more prone to pests. This is something you would have to really inspect when they first started browning, but really examine the trunk. If a pest like a beetle or aphids get in there they bore a hole or two you need to look for leaking sap. Kind of like your house, a leak in a tree is usually not a good thing unless your making maple syrup. The beetles or aphids are not what kills the tree but the start of it. The open wound, is again just like water getting in your house, wet and moist and perfect conditions for mold and fungus. This is what kills them. This is called Canker disease. Again this may have started in the drought and you might not have noticed but eventually it is too late. The trees were too weak to fight off the fungus on their own. You would have to do a close inspection of the trunks now, you might see a lot of healed areas, called cankers also known as canker disease so you can search for some pictures. This might give you clue as to why they died.

      Lastly root rot, this you won't know until you dig up the old ones. If the roots are soft and mushy, then you had a fungus causing root rot which spread uncontrolled. Again signs of PH problems. However this is a much more severe problem and harder to get rid of. Bleach the soil, fungicides, etc your probably going to loose the plants if they are not already a total loss, some may recover but not likely. You want to get the root rot cleared out before planting again or your just going to have the same issue.
      Last edited by Jeff; 05-09-2018 at 05:40 PM.

    3. The Following User Says Thank You to Jeff For This Useful Post:

      Mollysmomma (05-09-2018)

    4. #3
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      Labradorks's Avatar
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      I like clumping bamboo (NOT running). Not sure it grows in your area? I have some that spread really fast with very little care. When I bought it three years ago I was on a tight budget since I'd just remodeled some rooms in my house, so I got these pots that had like three little four-foot canes and now they are 8 feet tall and each plant has 50+ canes. My neighbors have some unsightly stuff in their yards that I was blocking and they also make a lovely noise when it's quiet and there is a breeze. Helps with noise screening.

    5. The Following User Says Thank You to Labradorks For This Useful Post:

      Jeff (05-09-2018)

    6. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      I like clumping bamboo (NOT running). Not sure it grows in your area? I have some that spread really fast with very little care. When I bought it three years ago I was on a tight budget since I'd just remodeled some rooms in my house, so I got these pots that had like three little four-foot canes and now they are 8 feet tall and each plant has 50+ canes. My neighbors have some unsightly stuff in their yards that I was blocking and they also make a lovely noise when it's quiet and there is a breeze. Helps with noise screening.
      Interesting, and might be something for Woody to check into. I have always liked the idea of bamboo but never knew if it would grow in Michigan. There are some clumping bamboo species that will do well even in areas that get to -20 F or -29 C.

      Link with pics and a lot of information.
      Cold Hardy Clumping Bamboo

    7. #5
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      Woody's Avatar
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      Thanks Clumping bamboos looks interesting will keep them in mind.

      The cedars were there for a good many years so I assuming at this point that big tree took away the water they were used and they dried out. I was at Home Depot today picking up my garden stuff and noticed that the ones they have had on display for a few weeks are browning as well.

    8. #6
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      I think this is what I have.

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