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Planting Thuja Plicata (Western Red Cedar) in winter


I have purchased 3 thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar) that I need to plant soon. They are pot grown and about 1m tall. I think this makes them 1-2 years old?

I have some ericaceous compost, rootgrow and bone meal and am aware of how to use them thanks to youtube and some googling:
- compost mixed with soil in the trench
- bone meal mixed in with backfill - never to touch the roots
- rootgrow - sprinkled in the trench before planting.

As a complete novice with trees I'm looking for any helpful advice/experience please.

Do I need to water them every day during winter (if there is no rain)?
Do I need to use bamboo canes or wooden stakes to secure them if they are planted in front of a 6ft fence?
Is bark/mulch necessary to protect from frost/weeds and assist with moisture retention?



  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 2,283
    Hi there, these are pretty robust plants and grow quite happily without too much attention.  You seem to have done your research well about planting - I'd do that too but wouldn't be concerned about touching the roots, just make sure you don't damage them with a spade or fork. (Rootgrow is best applied to the rootball although its efficacy is debatable and has been debated here!).  In answer to your specific questions above:

    Not necessary over winter, the plants will be dormant until spring - overwatering can cause more harm than good, removing oxygen from the soil and causing rotting.

    If the fence provides shelter from wind they should be fine without a cane but I'd use one if the plants are not growing vertically to guide them and then remove it after one growing season.

    Bark does help, I use it on all my borders, especially to protect new plants - beware, the blackbirds love playing with it!

    This care guide may also help you: Thuja Care and Planting Advice - Paramount Plants and Gardens

    Good luck and enjoy your plants!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.
  • cmarkrcmarkr Posts: 142
    I'd suggest you don't need ericaceous soil, I've just had an ~80ft one removed growing in chalk
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