Cedar Care and Planting Kits

Planting Kit Order Form
Resources for Continuing Care and New River Property Owners



  • Plant a least three feet away from the water-edge of the river.
  • Plant the cedar seedlings at least 5 feet apart.
  • Plant them where you would want them to grow into a large tree.
  • Look up! Don’t plant them under electric or telephone lines, or too close to existing trees, or under roof overhangs.
  • Look down! Don’t plant on septic drain fields or over buried pipes or cables.
  • Cedars are shade tolerant.
  • Don’t plant in areas subject to flooding, or continual wetness for more than two continuous weeks per year.


  • Do not let the northern white-cedar seedling plugs dry out. Keep them cool and moist. Keep them out of direct sunlight until planted. (They may be stored for a few weeks in this manner)
  • In good soil, dig a hole 3 inches in diameter and as deep as the seedling plug is long. In poor soil, dig the hole four (4) inches larger on all sides and underneath. Fill this area with good soil before inserting the seedling plug.
  • Insert the seedling plug into the hole. Press the plug firmly into the hole with your hand.
  • Layer ½ inch of good soil on top of the plug.
  • With the shiny side up…center the weed guard matting over the seedling. Spread the matting material out so its edges will be under the enclosure. Install the stakes and enclosure.
  • Keep the soil around the newly planted tree continually moist for at least a month. Your seedlings with need ½ inch of rain or ½ bucket of water per week for 6-8 weeks. Water during dry spells as needed, even for the next three to four years.


Grasses, ferns, and weeds can not only rob your seedling of valuable moisture, nutrients, and sunlight, but also harbor insects and diseases that will have an affect on survival. It will be necessary to remove this vegetation from around the young seedling occasionally. Pull it out by hand without disturbing the root system of the young cedar seedling. Do not use herbicides. Occasional feeding with fertilizer recommended for conifers is good, but not essential unless your soil is poor. If you wish to fertilize, do so after the last frost of the year.


Tender cedar leaves are the number one favorite winter food for deer. However, they will generally not eat cedars from May through October. Rabbits will also eat baby cedar trees in the fall, winter, and early spring. Occasionally, they will nibble the tops off even in the summer.

Securely stake a chicken wire mesh cage around and over the top of the newly planted cedar tree. The cage can stay in place around the tree until it outgrows the cage. You may wish to remove the cage in May and replace it each year in October to protect it during the winter months.

Several years from now, you will need to build a new and larger cage to fit your growing cedar tree until its crowns is out of reach of the deer. Beginning in the summer of 2000, Cedars for the Au Sable will partially subsidize the cost of a six foot enclosure for your cedar trees. Please contact McLean’s Ace Hardware, 209 James Street, Grayling, 989-348-2931 for supplies.