Western Red Cedar Thuja plicata

British Grown
Volume 1-9 10-49 50-249 250+
Price per plant £37.80 £32.76 £28.98 £25.20
Price £37.80
British Grown
Volume 1-9 10-49 50-249 250+
Price per plant £8.64 £7.56 £6.72 £5.76
Price £8.64

All prices include VAT

Product description

THUJA PLICATA – Western Red Cedar


This large evergreen is at its most magnificent when planted as a single specimen in a large garden or parkland setting but is most often seen planted as a hedge or screen where it can be clipped to form an effective hedge from 2.5m (8ft) high by a minimum of 1m (3ft) width. It forms a dense hedge, not as fast-growing and troublesome as the Leyland cypress, and has a wonderfully fruity scent from the dark green foliage which also provides a good backdrop to contrast against. As a single specimen expect a height of over 30m (100ft). As older specimen trees mature the attractive reddish brown bark begins to shred.

Where to grow

It can be grown in shade and on a range of well-drained soils, including chalk. For use as a hedge space them at 60cm (2ft) intervals in a single row when starting with plants under a metre tall. Larger plants can be spaced wider apart.

Did you know?

Thuja plicata is native to Western parts of North America where it is used for timber.

Mildly toxic so best avoided near livestock.

Mature height
Very Large - 20 metres+
5-10 meters
Growth rate
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty/hard to grow
Season of interest
Scented Foliage
Evergreen Hedge
Conifer Hedge
Good for Windy sites
Good at altitude
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
Timber producing
Wind break
Suitable for Topiary
Sound Barrier


For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.


The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.


If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.


Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


By Mary Saunders on 12/02/2016

Western Red Cedar.  What is the duration of life for this tree.  I have one in close proximity to my garden. It is a beautiful healthy specimen about 70 years old.  Very tall.  When my neighbours take it down, will the timber be of special value.  Thank you for anything you are able to tell me.  M.Saunders

By Simon on 16/02/2016

Dear Mary,

Western Red Cedar matures at about 100 years old, but is often cut at 50 for timber. It isn’t particularly strong, but is light and easily worked. Resistant to decay and warping, it is ideal for outdoor building and cladding.

By Gaynor Freeman on 20/03/2016

In December we planted 60 Western Red Cedar (Thuja placate) trees which were a healthy green foliage.  But now from the top of the tree to the middle they are tinged a reddish brown.  Is this normal.

Many thanks

By Simon on 25/03/2016

Hello Gaynor,

Thuja plicata does turn bronze in winter, so this is perfectly healthy. If the foliage looks like it is in fact turning brown and dry, then feel free to email a photo to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and we will take a look to see what the problem could be.

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