Planting a Cedar Hedge?

August 6, 2005
Q: I'm about to plant a cedar hedge. I was told I have to mix some lime into my soil first. Is this true? I live in a zone 4 and already have several cedar trees on the property.
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Anne from NB

A: Anne,

Most cedars prefer slightly acidic soils with a pH of 6 to 6.5, but they will still grow well in soils up to 7.5. Overly acidic soil can result in nutrient deficiencies (symptoms are usually browning or yellowing foliage) and lead to the eventual decline of your hedges. Applying dolomitic lime will increase the pH of acidic soil-making it more basic. Because you already have several cedar trees growing successfully on your property, I suspect your soil will work fine for your new hedges. It's worth noting, however, that pH levels in different locations on the same property can be vastly different. To be sure, I would suggest getting your soil tested. You can contact your local county extension agency for specific directions, locate a private lab, or do it yourself. The inexpensive do-it-yourself pH test-kits available at most local garden centers or farm supply stores should work fine.

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