The Q&A Archives: Cedar Tree

Question: We have a row of cedar trees along our back fence and we have just noticed that the inside branches are turning orange and dying. What could be the cause?
We watered them all summer and used 20-20-20 on them. They were growing very fast and tall. Thank you for any advice you can give.

Answer: Since your question comes in late summer/early fall, I'll venture that you are witnessing 'cedar flagging', a normal consequence of old foliage being shed to make room for new foliage. Some years it is more noticable than others, but it's a natural annual occurance. Evergreen trees and shrubs retain their leaves for about three years. After that period of time the old leaves fall off and new leaves appear the following spring. The older leaves are on the insides of the branches closest to the trunk. As long as the foliage near the tips of the branches remains green and healthy looking, your cedar trees are just fine and there's no need to be concerned about the old foliage turing orange and dropping.

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