Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata)
Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata) is a fast-growing and commonly UK planted species, making between 45cm (1ft 6in) and 60cm (2ft) of height growth per year. It produces a dense, evergreen hedge which makes it ideal for quick privacy, birds nests, wind protection and noise reduction. Its leaves are a mid-dark green colour (new growth is a bronze/brown colour) and have an aromatic scent when crushed. Western Red Cedar is also noted for its small cones.
Considered a worthy alternative to Leylandii and a good choice for those wanting something a little different, whilst still providing a dense, evergreen screening hedge.
It is quite often confused with Lawson's Cypress, however it differs in that it foliage is shiny and flat and carries an attractive aromatic, pineapple) scent. Considered to also be an important timber species.
If you plant Western Red Cedar and leave it to grow, expect a final height of around 70m (more like 40 in UK) and a trunk width of 3-4 metres. Before anyone asks, you will not achieve a 3m to 4m wide trunk with a Western Red Cedar hedge. As much as you may want a wall of wood, it would be impossible.
Typically, Western Red Cedar may be planted as an individual tree or as an avenue of trees. Estate and Policy Woodland plantings from the 18th Century often found this tree planted along with other North American conifer species. Today, 150 years later these trees form an amazing sight and we think that this tree worthy of planting to achieve the same effect for future generations.
Planting Western Red Cedar
Western Red Cedar is quite at home in either sun or heavy shade and prefers a well-drained soil. It will tolerate acid or alkaline environments as well as chalk, clay, sand and loam. Western Red Cedar does particularly well in moist atmospheres so West UK would see good results although after the Summer of 2012, anywhere would be good. Best to avoid dry spots which are few and far between in UK and cold, drying winds could cause problems. If you doubt the soil fertility then a slow release fertilizer will help. Under certain conditions up to 15% loss is normal. This is not specific to Western Red Cedar, many other species have this loss too. Best to buy a few more than is needed, plant these in pots and use them as replacements should you loose any of your trees. Be aware that planting in pots requires a little more maintenance than planting as they dry out quicker.
Maintaining Western Red Cedar
Some consider it better than Leylandii because of the reduced need for pruning. We recommend Western Red Cedar is trimmed during June and September if being planted as a hedge. We suggest shaping is carried out from an early age to ensure a thick hedge at maturity. You can hard prune Western Red Cedar in that you can go back to older wood. The bare patches would soon grow out again.
Other Information On Western Red Cedar
Thuja Plicata or Western Red Cedar to those that talk normally, has an oil in the wood that makes it repel water. This makes it particularly suitable for cladding, roof tiles, out door furniture and other such wood projects. We do not suggest making taps, shower heads, fire fighting hoses etc (just to make sure, we do get asked some odd questions) as it is not that water repellent.
If ever UK law changes to include trees then the Western Red Cedar could be charged with identity theft as it is not a true cedar, in fact it belongs to the Cypress family (maybe it was adopted a long time ago?)
Western Red Cedar is a good choice for birds on the hunt for prime real estate to make their equivalent of our self-build. Not quite a 2 up and 2 down like ours but you know what we mean. It is a popular choice because of the tight branches which keep predators and the weather out.
Thuja Plicata is a long lived tree with confirmed records of one reaching 1460 years old. So if you have any worries about passing your house onto your kids and the hedge not living long enough then plant Western Red Cedar!
Western Red Cedar will grow from sea level to 2300m above.
The straight grain with few knots, water resistance and decay resistance (due to Thujaplicin in the wood) make it a popular choice for outdoor wood working projects especially when lighter weight is required as it weighs less than other woods with similar properties. The resistance to rotting can last for over a hundred years. Western Red Cedar aroma is believed to deter moth and carpet beetle larvae and a properly constructed chest can protect clothing for over a hundred years.
Plicata is Greek meaning "folded in plaits" which refers to the patten of its small leaves.
Thuja Plicata is also known as Giant Cedar, Pacific Red Cedar, Western Red Cedar. British Columbia Red Cedar, Shinglewood, Canoe Cedar or Giant Red Cedar.
Felling a Western Red Cedar would take several days and shifts of men working 24 hours a day so to speed up your acquisition of wood for flooring, people used to literally pry their planks from the living tree. As it is resistant to decay, the tree was not harmed. Evidence of plank extraction from old Western Red Cedar is still visible to this day.
Apparently introduced to Britain in 1853 (the year we mean, not 7 minutes to 7pm) by Thomas Lobb.
How many Western Red Cedar hedging trees do I need?
We recommend planting 4 plants per metre using the double staggered hedge method which will give you a thicker and more protective hedge than a single row.
Rabbit and Deer Protection
We offer a range of tree shelters that will protect your trees against possible attack. Click on this Tree Protection Link and it will take you to all of these products.
See What Our Customers Are Saying About Our Western Red Cedar Cell Grown Plants.Dear Alan, A few years on and the hedge is taking shape..........................thanks very much for all your professional help. We are delighted with the service and product! Kind regards, Stuart Sangster. 1115
Sorry I've not got back to you sooner. The package was damaged but the Western Red Cedar trees seemed to have survived and appear healthy. All 60 are now nestled firmly in the ground. Your website is very informative and refreshingly honest. We look forward to our next purchase. Keep up the good work. Suni 1114
Dear Alan,My experience of ordering from Trees Oneline has been most positive. The Western Red Cedar trees arrived in excellent condition (were left as requested in the dustbin by the courier so I did not have to sit around waiting from them to arrive) and the trees have now settled down and are growing well. I have already placed another order and shall be using this service on many more occasions both for my own garden and for our churchyard. The web-site was easy to navigate with excellent information about each tree, and there is a hint of humour which make makes the whole business a little more human. Many thanks, The Reverend David Derrick 1113
Hello, Yup got the grapes, cedar, pine n roses ! Thank you very much. Happy with them. Can't wait to see em growing. All the best Dr Ana Christensen DVM, PhD 0613