En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
1 rating

Saturday - March 14, 2009

From: Hadashville, Manitoba
Region: Canada
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagation of cedar cuttings in Manitoba
Answered by: Barbara Medford


How to propagate cedar cuttings to form a hedge?


Sometimes before we answer a question, we have to be sure what is being asked. There are three different trees that are referred to as "cedars" and we're not sure which one you are interested in.The supposedly "true" cedar is of the genus Cedrus, of which Cedrus atlantica is an example. It is a native of the Atlas Mountains in northern Africa and has a USDA Plant Hardiness of Zones 6 to 9. The next tree often referred to as "cedar" is Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae), which is native to North America and to Manitoba. The third cedar is Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) which is also native to North America and to Manitoba. This Tree Help.com website Cedar and Arborvitae compares the three in pictures.

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are focused on the use and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. Plants native to an area will be adapted to the climate, rainfall and soils of that area, and thus need less fertilizer, water and maintenance. Since both arborvitae and eastern red cedar are native to Manitoba, we are going to look for recommendations on propagation by cuttings on those trees. Ordinarily, propagation of woody plants is done much the same way, regardless of species, so that is what we will explore. If you follow the links above to our webpage on each individual plant, you will see that the propagation method suggested is by seed; however, taking cuttings is also a possibility, and might give you quicker results for your planned hedge. 

The propagation instructions on our website for Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) are:

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Seed can be sown outdoors in fall or stratified and sown in spring. Seed germination is often poor, so a large quantity of seeds should be sown. Selected forms have been rooted from cuttings.
Seed Collection: Collect seeds from late summer through fall when it has turned its ripe color. Thoroughly dry and clean seeds to avoid mold and overheating. If not planting immediately, air dry before storing. Store in sealed containers at 20-40 degrees.
Seed Treatment: Stratify at 41 degrees for 30-120 days. 

Gardener's Network Arborvitae has specific propagation suggestions for that plant. UBC Botanical Gardens discusses Propagating arborvitae under lights.

This University of Missouri Extension website Home Propagation of Garden and Landscape Plants gives a very complete explanation of the options available when propagating woody plants by cuttings.  For arborvitae semi-hardwood and hardwood cuttings are suggested. For eastern red cedar, hardwood cuttings and layering are recommended.

Obviously, there are a number of different ways to propagate plants for your hedge; you can select the one that is most practical for your purposes. 

Juniperus virginiana

Juniperus virginiana

Thuja occidentalis

Thuja occidentalis




More Propagation Questions

Adventitious sprouts on oak tree in Austin
April 26, 2010 - Hello, I have an Oak tree which was planted in about 2002, which has adventitious sprouts. The tree has always sent these up, and we cut them off below ground. The tree has always been a 'runt', b...
view the full question and answer

Crossbreedding of Lupinus polyphyllus and L. perennis
June 25, 2007 - Hello, can Lupinus polyphyllus and L. perennis crossbreed? I have both and want to keep perennis genetically pure, is the only way to do this is to get rid of the polyphyllus?
view the full question and answer

Grapes Grown from Seed
July 21, 2006 - Can mustang grapes be grown from seed? If so, how is the best way and when is the best time to do it?
view the full question and answer

Should a bloom stalk be cut down in Yuma AZ?
May 07, 2010 - I have a plant in my front yard that looks like an aloe vera. It doesn't have any thorns or needles but does have a tall stalk like stem coming from the middle of it. The "stalk" is now approx. 5'...
view the full question and answer

Spanish Dagger plant interfering with walkway in Ingram TX
April 09, 2010 - I have a Spanish Dagger that is now 8 feet tall and about to fall over in a walkway. Due to the danger of these very sharp tips I need to either cut down the plant or try to root in and replant. If ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center