How Deep To Plant A Radicans Cryptomeria Japanese Cedar?

Filed Under: Trees, Techniques & Methods, Planting · Keywords: Planting, Depth, How To, Plant, Radicans, Cryptomeria · 5341 Views
Hi. I am interested in using Radicans Cryptomeria to create a privacy screen between my house and another which sits at just a slightly higher elevation than we do. My biggest concern is about the depth at which these need to be planted. Being in TN we have a lot of rock.
Do you know how deep of a root system these plants have, and how wide the roots will grow?
Thank you kindly for your assistance.

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Answer #3 ·'s Answer · John gave some great advice. It would be a tough decision for me between the Cryptomeria and the Evergreen Giant or Steeplechase Arborvitae. Here in central Georgia, I'd probably go with th arborviate, but that's only because the Cryptomeria aren't performing quite as well in our climate. Not really sure why? Things might be different in TN? The most popular tall growing coniferous evergreens in our area right now is the Carolina Sapphire Cypress and its cousins 'Blue Ice' and 'Silver Smoke' cypress. I do know that the Arborvitae is touted as tolerating heavy snow loads without damage to the tree, which is always a concern regarding evergreen conifers. Not sure how well the Crypteria handles heavy snow but the ones I see growing in our area, where we occasionally get some light snow (1-6 inches) handle it and ice quite well. Regarding planting in rocky soil, the trees should do fine as long as the rock isn't solid just beneath the surface. Rocky soil actually provides good drainage and if there's space between the rocks that is filled with soil the roots of the trees will find it. I've actually seen coniferous evergreen trees growing on top of boulders in the North Georgia mountain area....with roots wrapping around and down boulders to soil below. So the rocky soil might not be a big concern. Trees can be planted with the top of the root ball considerably higher than ground level. If you can't dig a deep enough hole so that the top of the rootball is level with ground it's okay to plant higher. Just make sure to build a mound of soil around the rootball that extends from the top of the rootball gradually tapering to ground level....planting in a "raised mound" so to speak. Keep in mind that if you have to plant in raised mounds that the trees may require closer attention to watering during periods of dry weather, especially during summer. During the first year after planting provide enough supplemental water to maintain a moist but not wet soil. Once the root system is established most coniferous evergreens are quite drought tolerant.)

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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi Samantha-Are you wondering how deep a hole you will have to dig in your rocky soil or worried the rock structure beneath the soil is to solid a layer for roots to penetrate? The Radicans Cryptomeria has a large tap root that can penetrate deep into the soil. Under perfect conditions some tap roots can go as deep as 70 percent of the trees height. Off of this tap root many smaller fiberous lateral roots are formed. Because of this these trees can be used in parkways, lawn areas, and landscapes with very few problems with damage to surrounding structures. As far as spacing I would plant the Radicans Cryptomeria 6-8 feet apart when creating a solid privacy hedge. As far as how deep they need to be planted will be determined by the size of tree you want to start with. The tree should be planted with the surrounding soil level with the top of the soil in the container the tree was growing in. A 5 gal. tree would not require as deep a hole to be planted in as a larger tree would need. Unless the rock layer beneath your top soil is extremely solid the trees tap root should penetrate this in time. Another tree that I have heard others are very happy with that can be used as a nice privacy hedge also is the Steeplechase Arborvitae. This tree has a pyramid shape also and a beautiful green foliage as does the cryptomeria. The root system of the arborvitae is much more shallow, but strong enough to prevent the tree from toppling over in high winds. The Green Giant is another arborvitae you may want to look at as it grows taller as does the Radicans Cryptomeria. The depth of the roots with all these trees will be determined by the soil and its density and whether it can be penetrated. Its hard to say how deep the roots will penetrate your soil. Unless you have a fairly solid hard pan the tap root of the cryptomeria will most likely penetrate it. I noted links to the plants files of the trees mentioned for you to see their characteristics. I also noted a link to an article on evergreen trees for screens you may be interested in reading. Just click on the links to go directly to the plant files.

Hopefully this has helped answer your question. Please ask if you have any others.


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Answer #2 · Samantha Marsh's Answer · Hi John. This is exactly what I was looking for. I am concerned about both of the issues you memtioned. We don't believe the rock pan is as solid in the area where we want to plant. I have looked at the other trees mentioned. The Cryptomeria was our favorite.
Thank you for all of the great information.)

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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
You're very welcome. I know well how hard digging in areas of rock can be. I live at the base of a mountain range with nothing but rocks 18 inches below the surface of our soil. The rocks range from gravel size to large bolders that need equipment for removal before any foundations can be constructed. Our location is actually known for its many rock quarries that supply gravel and different sizes of rock for construction and landscaping. Fortunately we have 18 inches of nice top soil. Its amaging there isn't any trees including the cryptomerias that don't do well. Roots will find there way through just about any type of soil. Because of the rock most of my landscaping is well draining which most shrubs and trees need. Too wet a soil can be harmful to many plants. The only thing with a well draining soil is that supplimental watering may be needed in the warmer months until the trees have become more established. For the cryptomeria this would mean making sure the new trees are kept moist, not wet, for their first growing season. Once established this tree is quite drought resistant and does well in my area that has had a horrible drought condition now for some years. Let me know how you make out with your planting and please ask if you have any other questions.

6 years ago ·
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