|Blue Atlas Cedar - MG Debra Schaeffer's Landscape|
Master Gardener Debra Schaeffer asked on Facebook whether or not her Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca') was dead or alive, posting this picture from her landscape in Shippensburg.
Apparently Debra is not alone in asking, since our friends at Snavely's Garden Center added that they've been getting a lot of calls about them lately as well.
Sandy Feather, horticulture educator for Allegheny county wrote about the subject recently. Here's Sandy.
Blue atlas cedar is rated as hardy to USDA Zone 6. Much of
Whether they live or not depends in part on where you live. If you are in an urban area, where buildings and pavement hold more heat than suburban and rural areas, the foliage may just be burned and they will survive. If you live in the suburbs, especially the northern suburbs, they may not.
It also depends on how long they have been growing -- established plants have a better chance of surviving extremes than those that are newly planted. Likewise, plants that go into winter well hydrated and healthy will fare better than those that are stressed by
In addition to brutally cold temperatures, strong winds play a role. While needled evergreens usually have a waxy coating on their needles that helps minimize moisture loss, blue atlas cedar needles are not as heavily waxed as many
The bottom-line with your blue atlas cedars: Wait until they should start showing new growth as temperatures warm in spring. The brown needles will drop and new growth will start covering those bare branches if the foliage was just burned. If that does not happen, then they did not survive the
Even plants that are generally hardy to Zone 5 may show