Friday 14 May 2021

I Fear For Our Big Cedar

    Back in 1977 after we bought our place, whenever we were driving down the road toward it, we would look for the top of a big dead cedar tree that grew in our barnyard, so we could tell when we were getting close to our driveway.  I hated that the big Western Red Cedar was dead, but I took some consolation in the fact that right beside it, a younger cedar was growing, and it continued to grow these forty plus years.

    Now it looks like that cedar, which was just starting to get big, is dying.  Two-thirds of its lower needles have turned reddish brown.  Cedar needles do periodically turn reddish brown and are then replaced by new green needles.  The process is called “flagging”, but what is happening to our cedar seems well beyond that.  It looks like it is dying. 

    Western Red Cedars do grow where there is a lot of moisture, but they can’t survive in standing water, and that is what has been happening with this one, because of all the rain we had last summer and fall.  Underground water seeped down the mountain slope beside our property and accumulated in the old bogs that are in our yard.  Bogs have been saturated, with water sitting on its surface, for a year and a half now.  One of those big old bogs is right beside the cedar and it is still full of water.

    The needles on the very top of the cedar haven’t yet turned red, so I guess there is still hope.  Around here, Western Red Cedars can grow for hundreds of years, that is what I had been hoping this one would do.  Cedars are my favorite tree and I would sure hate to lose this one.

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