Thuja | Western Red Cedar

Thuja plicata

Western Red Cedar, is a conifer that looks similar to Green Leylandii and grows almost as fast. It has dark, olive-green leaves that can turn bronze in winter. The foliage has a pleasant, fruity fragrance when the leaves are crushed.  It can be cut back into old wood and will re-shoot.

Read more

Our Size Range

Find the right hedge for you

Display Measurements
IMPERIAL
METRIC
  • thuja_hedge_06_1_4
    4 litre
  • thuja_hedge_06_4
    Rootball
  • thuja_hedge_06_4
    Rootball
  • thuja_hedge_06_4
    Rootball
  • thuja_hedge_06_1_2_2_1
    20 litres
  • thuja_hedge_06_4
    Rootball
  • thuja_hedge_06_1_2_2
    25 litres
  • thuja_hedge_06_1_2_2_2_1_1
    Rootball
  • thuja_hedge_06_1_2_2_2_1_1_1
    Rootball
  • Thuja plicata, also known as Western Red Cedar, is a conifer that looks similar to Green Leylandii and grows almost as fast. It has dark, olive-green leaves that can turn bronze in winter. The foliage has a pleasant, fruity fragrance when the leaves are crushed. Thuja plicata can be cut back into old wood and will re-shoot.

    Planting Advice

    Thuja | Western Red Cedar

    How tall will Thuja plicata grow?

    You can keep a Thuja hedge at any height and as narrow as 45cm (18in). It withstands clipping very well. Remember, if you keep a hedge at 2-3m (6-8ft) tall (or lower), it is much easier to trim than if you let it grow taller. If left untrimmed, Western Red Cedar will grow up to 20-35 metres tall (70-120ft) and makes a fabulous specimen tree – but you obviously need a lot of space for this. Specimen trees can be seen in the gardens of many stately homes such as Stourhead and Bicton Park..

    How often would I need to trim a Thuja plicata hedge?

    Trim your hedge once or twice a year. Late spring/early summer is the best time to trim the hedge. If you think it needs another trim, then trim again in late summer/early autumn but don’t leave it too late before the winter – allow some time for re-growth before the winter cold.

    Why plant Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar)?

    • Fast growing
    • Evergreen
    • Good for screening and all year round privacy
    • Acts as a windbreak
    • Hardy
    • Will re-shoot from old wood
    • Scented foliage
    • Grows in any soil (apart from water-logged)
    • Grows in sunny or shady areas

    What type of soil does a Thuja plicata hedge need?

    Thuja will grow in any free-draining soil (i.e. any soil that is not water-logged). It will even grow on shallow chalk soils.

    How far apart should I plant Thuja plicata?

    You should plant between 60 and 100cm (2-3ft) apart. If you want the gaps between the plants to fill in quickly to form a hedge, then plant at 60cm (2ft) apart. If you are happy to wait a bit longer, then plant at 1m (3ft) apart because you will get just as good a hedge, it will just take about a year or so longer for the plants to join together to form a hedge.

    Use Our
    Hedge Spacing Calculator

    Additional Information

    Thuja | Western Red Cedar

    The many varieties of Thuja plicata

    There are a number of different varieties of  such as ‘Atrovirens’, ‘Gelderland’, ‘Excelsa’ and ‘Martin’, all of which grow quickly and form a good hedge.

    There is also a variegated variety, called Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’ which is slower growing but still forms a good hedge. Please give us a call if you are interested in this variety.

    All varieties of Thuja plicata with green foliage are the best as fast-growing hedging plants along with Thuja occidentalis ‘Brabant’ which grows at a similar rate.

    Alternatives to Western Red Cedar

    Green Leylandii is similar to Western Red Cedar and grows slightly faster, as a result, it is usually cheaper.

    Thuja occidentalis ‘Brabant’ is very similar to Thuja plicata. It has a similar rate of growth and forms a dense evergreen hedge.

    Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) is a quick-growing, evergreen shrub – so if you don’t want a conifer, Laurel is the fastest growing evergreen hedging plant.

    Thuja occidentalis ‘Emerald’ is a slower growing conifer that needs very little maintenance. It does not need clipping on the sides as it never grows very wide, however, you can prune the tops once a year to keep the hedge to the height you want.

    Other Hedging Categories

    Find the right hedge for you