Cedar trees are magnificent, bringing year-round beauty to any Langley property. And even though cedars grow in almost any kind of soil, even the hardiest of trees sometimes need a little help to flourish. Because most of the organic material (leaves, grass clippings, and tree and bush trimmings) in a landscaped area is removed, your cedars might not be getting the proper nutrients to promote healthy growth. Read on to learn the ins and outs of fertilizing your cedar trees in Langley.

Begin by testing your soil

Before you begin the fertilizing process, you will need to get a handle on the quality of the soil. Understanding your soil will give you a clear indication of its nutrient status and overall condition. For a fast and effective way to understand the nutritional needs of your cedar trees in Langley, a pH test kit can point you in the right direction.

    • When should you test your soil?

The short answer is anytime—if the soil is not frozen. That said, there are some specific times when you will want to examine the condition of your soil to ensure optimal growing conditions. For starters, if it is past the three-year mark since the last time you had your soil tested, do it as soon as possible. Struggling plants are also clear signs your soil needs a boost. If you have moved to a new place, you will want to do a test to take the guesswork out of the shape of your soil.

    • How do you test the soil?

When it comes to testing your soil, it comes down to two options. You can have it professionally done or handle it yourself—your local home and garden store will have pH test kits for you to assess your soil. If you are having a soil testing company take care of the duties, you will need to collect a sample for them to examine. After all the results are in, you should have a clear idea on what amendments your soil needs.

Your soil should also be porous and crumbly. If it is isn’t, you should replace it with quality topsoil to which you can add either bone meal or mycorrhizal fungi. You may also add sheep manure to soil. If your soil is gravelly or sandy, it will need help to retain water and fertilizer. For this, you can use sphagnum moss. You should discuss the exact amounts to add for your specific case with the staff at your local garden centre.

Fertilizing your cedar trees in Langley
Once the testing is done, you should have a good indication of the amount of organic matter—pH, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, aluminum, and boron—in your soil.

    • What are the types of fertilizer?

When it is time to fertilize your cedar trees in Langley, you will need to choose the right option for the best results. Using a high phosphorous fertilizer is optimal for your newly planted cedar trees. To help minimize transplant shock, add a 5-15-5 water-soluble fertilizer on the soil. Immediately after you apply the fertilizer, make sure to water your trees.

For established cedar trees, use a balanced fertilizer or one with a higher nitrogen content, using a balance of 30-10-10. Continue watering the soil until the fertilizer granules are no longer visible.

There are a host of tree fertilizers, but they essentially break down into two choices—organic and inorganic. Inorganic fertilizers are synthetic, consisting of minerals and artificial chemicals. Organic fertilizers, on the other hand, are natural and are made up of plant- or animal-based materials.

Both fertilizers provide the necessary nutrients for growth. The main difference is how they work. Inorganic fertilizers give a quick dose of nutrients, whereas the organic product travels slower but is a more natural and healthier option.

    • When should you fertilize your cedar trees in Langley?

Start fertilizing your cedars in the spring or at planting. Continue to fertilize your cedars trees in Langley until July to help your trees survive the next winter. When the autumn arrives, stop fertilizing to prevent nutrient buildup during the winter. Try not to over fertilize. If your trees are growing normally, it may only be necessary to reapply fertilizer once every two or three years.

Watering your cedar trees in Langley

Fertilizing is important for the health of your trees. But for optimal growth, thick foliage, and vibrant colours, it is important to ensure your cedars get the right amount of water.

A prime concern when planting cedar trees is correct watering. If you do not receive any rain, be sure to water your new trees for over an hour at least once a week. The soil should not be soaked but should remain moist. A sign that you are overwatering is if the cedars begin to change colour, while too little water will result in dry leaves.

Taking the time to understand your tree needs will go a long way to keeping your cedars healthy and thriving for generations to come.

For more information on how to care for your cedar trees in Langley, contact Fraser Valley Cedars.