Thuja plicata 'Aurea'

Western red cedar

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Key information

Plant type

Evergreen tree


Dramatic foliage



Skill level


photo by John Glover, copyright GAP Photos (18439)

Plant details

Left to its own devices, this conifer makes a fair-sized rich golden tree, but it is normally used for hedging where the height is controlled by regular clipping. It is particularly good for this purpose as not only does it withstand regular cutting, twice-yearly is usually enough once the hedge is established, but its deep gold colour and slight gloss makes it especially attractive as a year-round framework to the garden. Unlike many conifers, it can safely be cut back into old wood to rejuvenate it if necessary do this shortly after the start of the growing season, one side per year. To propagate, take cuttings in late summer. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in recognition of its outstanding excellence.

Family: Cupressaceae

Genus: Thuja

Species: plicata

Cultivar: Aurea

Plant type: Evergreen tree

Foliage colour: Golden

Feature: Dramatic foliage

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 2000cm

Spread: 700cm

Time to take cuttings: July to August

Reader reviews


makes a lovely tree in the right place

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