Can my neighbour's cedar trees that are along the S side of our yard be of benefit to our garden? I get frustrated with the amount of shade as they are getting huge. We've turned our front yard into edible landscaping and want to go the next level of a food forest. We planted everything that are deer resistant since it's accessible to deer.
We've been trying to negotiate with our neighbour to take the cedars down.
We've been doing the Back to Eden method with wood chips which those cedar trees will grow even faster and larger! Ahhh!!!
Aldergrove, BC, Canada
You might offer to trim the cedar hedge. You might end up being able to trim more than originally planned with their permission once you start. And you keep the trimmings for mulch
If the cedar hedge is old and the inner needles have died off, you cannot trim back to this. You need to keep some of the greenery so that there will be regrowth. If there is no hope for serious cutback, then you might like to rethink this space and use it for other purposes ex. shed, water harvesting tank etc...
If the the hedge is partly on your property , then you have the right to keep it trimmed back.
They are trees much, much taller than our 2 story house. That's why I'm posting on the food FOREST garden. What do the roots have to offer? Roots give something into the soil don't they? The area under the trees has very little vegetation.
Yes, we have offered to take the trees down. Just wondering if cedar trees had something to offer in a food forest.
Oh, very very tall, so it will be a major job to cut them down if the neighbour decides to cut them down. I would let them know once a year of your offer to help take them out. You could offer to replace them with fruit trees hedgerow (for privacy) just on the inside of your property line and share the fruit with them or share or pay for a fence for privacy. They probably like the privacy and are in no rush to cut down the trees.
In the meantime, you could grow some plants that like shade. Not knowing your ag zone and whether you are in a dry or abundant rain area it is hard to suggest which plants will grow. The plants may not like to the soil around the cedar so you may need to bring in some other soil on top of the ground soil like a raised bed.
I live in a northern zone so I plant hostas in the shade. Young hosta leaves are delicious in salads or soups like spinach. They make great chop & drop material too.
In a food forest, in the shade of the cedars, you could set up a small bistro table & chairs so you can relax from time to time with a cup of ice tea. Or you could use this space for a garden nursery & work with large wooden table.