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Living fence or hedge from Juniperus virginiana var. virginiana (Eastern Redcedar)

 
Posts: 35
Location: Piedmont, NC
6
forest garden homestead
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I have read much contradictory on whether Eastern redcedar (actually a juniper) will respond well to pleaching to make a hedge. My dad insists i can top the cedar, and it will respond by developing a new leader. Other sources say that if you cut the cedar above living branches, the branches can be layered to make a ring of new cedars around the stumps.  To kill the cedar it was noted to cut below the living branches, although others insist even then the tree will resprout from the trunk.

I've cut a tree this week as an experiment and want to share how it goes here.

My goal is to create a visual screen and not so much an impenetrable barrier. (And i've years before the property next door is sold and is used for something other than a wood lot). I've been letting the cedars grow at the property boundary and now one is tall enough to shade the garden. That cedar then becomes the experimental tree. I have made the pleaching cut far higher than is traditional to ensure plenty of living branches on the root side of the cut. The rest of the tree has been pushed over and eventually i'll try layering some of those branches. I've probably not done a good enough job cutting the stool away to protect the wood, but i trust the cedar will protect itself more than the average tree. I probably should have kept cutting: the splintered wood is a possible path for disease.
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Documentation of the pleaching cut in an eastern redcedar
 
Posts: 19
Location: South of Quebec city, Canada, zone 4
trees woodworking
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I will definitely be interested by the results, I just received a pound of eastern red cedar seeds by the mail! Most will go to replant the areas where I logged, but it might be interesting to use them as a snow barrier, to capture large amounts of snow in strategic areas to protect more tender plants
 
pollinator
Posts: 233
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,500' Zone 8a
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greening the desert
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I’d be afraid of cedar apple rust. If they’re all around you already, I guess it doesn’t matter.
 
pollinator
Posts: 261
Location: Central Texas
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hugelkultur forest garden trees rabbit greening the desert homestead
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I'm interested in seeing how it works out. I've never seen one backbud from old wood; but that doesn't mean they won't.
I'm also curious to see if you are able to layer the branches.
 
Judielaine Bush
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Location: Piedmont, NC
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Wayne Mackenzie wrote:I’d be afraid of cedar apple rust. If they’re all around you already, I guess it doesn’t matter.



I couldn't eradicate all the cedars around  if i wanted to and had permission, so the apple trees are just going to have to tough it out. I've chosen three heirloom types from the region, one developed in this county, so i have some hope. At least if the cedars are at a low height i can collect the galls. (Probably futile given the number of neighboring trees....)
 
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