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Western Red Cedar or Thuja plicata Atrovirens

Western Red Cedar or Thuja plicata Atrovirens

Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata) forms a pyramid shape with red bark and green foliage.

This is the perfect plant for a fast growing hedge. Its leaves have a nice pineapple scent especially when they are crushed or after rain. The deep green leaves are beautiful and make an excellent backdrop to borders.

The plant’s growth rate is fairly vigorous and doesn’t turn brown when old growth is cut into. A Western Red Cedar or Thuja hedge provides magnificent screen, has noise and windbreak reducing qualities and forms a striking conifer display.

Growing Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar has attractive foliage that releases the faint smell of pineapple when blown in the wind, giving your home a great sensory element. Small cones often appear and decorate the branches of the tree

Why you should grow a Western Red Cedar or Thuja Plicata hedge

A Western Red Cedar hedge is easy to grow and can be trimmed into a neat shape and make an excellent, aromatic garden feature. Here are a few reasons why you should grow this conifer tree:

  • It is a low maintenance plant. When pruning is necessary, only trim back the new growth of the season instead of removing any dieback.
  • They are also fast growing plants. At a growth rate of 30-50 cm per year, they are the perfect plants for a hedge height of 1.5 up to 7 m.
  • Maintains its evergreen color all-year round
  • They have a faint smell of pineapple when blown in the wind or crushed
  • They make a thick hedge for privacy and screening
  • They have dense foliage, which makes an excellent windbreak
  • They grow well in all types of soils, including loam, chalk and sandy soils. However, it is intolerant to poorly drained soils
  • They make a wonderful addition to any landscape
  • When grown under ideal conditions, the plant can live for more than 80 years

Where to grow

Western Red Cedar grows well in full sun or partial shade and good garden soil. The plant is quite adaptable, preferring average to wet conditions and will even grow in waterlogged soils. It is not as particular to soil pH and type. It is also tolerant to urban pollution.

How to plant

It is important that you spend more time ensuring that you are planting Western Red Cedar properly. And if planted under optimal conditions, the hedge bushes will establish quickly. Here are the planting steps you should follow:

  1. Locate a planting area with suitable planting conditions and remove grass and other weeds to avoid competition for water and nutrients
  2. Dig a trench twice the width and 1 or 2 cm deeper than the height as the clod. Make sure that the bottom of the trench is level and the sides are straight
  3. Dig some compost into the base of the trench to supply the young plants with nutrients and allow the roots to penetrate the soil quickly and easily
  4. Backfill the trench with a mixture of compost and garden soil as you firm the soil around the plant’s root system
  5. Water the plant thoroughly and keep it well-watered during the first year of growth


Western Red Cedar or Thuja trees can be grown with other hedging conifers to create a stunning evergreen display. The plant can be clipped into shape and make an aromatic garden feature.


Proper spacing is very important in ensuring that you have a thick hedge. Spacing should be done during planting so that the plants’ foliage can form a compact hedge as they grow. For Western Red Cedar, plant 2 to 3 plants per meter.

Care & Advice

  • Weeds
    For your Western Red Cedar hedge trees to flourish, you need to provide them with plenty of moisture and space. Make sure that you remove grass and weed to prevent them from encroaching on the young plants.
  • Water and feeding
    Watering is very important when it comes to aftercare. Young hedge shrubs should be drenched during the first year of growth, ensuring that water reaches the root system. There can also be dry spells in winter when the plant is dormant, so you need to give your plant a generous soaking. This plant can also benefit from fertilizer feeding, although only a few people do this. Sprinkle a slow-release fertilizer on the sides of the hedge, but ensure that it doesn’t touch the leaves or stem. Fork in a bit and add water. Also, don’t forget to read the instructions on the fertilizer pack carefully.
  • Wind
    You also need to keep a close eye on the Western Red Cedar plants during windy seasons. When strong winds ‘rock’ plants, they cause air pockets and allow frost to creep in. In this case, make sure that you firm the plants back into position.
  • Pruning
    When pruning these privacy shrubs, you can cut into wood without damaging the plant. It is recommended that you trim the plant to shape in spring and maybe a light pruning in autumn. When pruning, don’t remove all the foliage on branches.


  • Maintains evergreen foliage all year round
  • Easy to maintain
  • Grows well in many types of soils
  • Sturdy
  • Fast-growing
  • Makes a fantastic hedge
  • Resistant to diseases and pests
  • Delivered fresh from the ground

Should I buy Western Red Cedar plants for hedging?

Western Red Cedar are widely used to create privacy hedges. One thing about these plants is that they maintain their evergreen color all-year-round, giving your garden a beautiful look. Most importantly, this plant can last up to 80 years when grown under optimal conditions, making it the ideal hedging plant for your long-term landscaping project. Although it is intolerant to waterlogged soils, Western Red Cedar grows in many types of soils, which is very impressive considering the fact that many people prefer hedge plants that are versatile when it comes to growing conditions. Not to forget the fact that they are fast-growing.

So, if you are looking for the best hedging plant, then YES, you should buy Western Red Cedar.

We offer high-quality Western Red Cedar hedge plants for sale at an affordable price. Our team will also guide on how to plant. Feel free to contact us today.