Thuja plicata

Western red cedar

  • Botanical name: Thuja plicata
  • Common name: Western red cedar
  • Family: Cupressaceae
  • Plant Type: Tree
Foliage colour:


Found growing in the forests of Western North America, the western red cedar, Thuja plicata, makes a useful hedging plant. Allowed to grow naturally, it makes a tall, conical-shaped tree that can reach up to 35m high. The scale-like leaves are mid- to dark green.


Plant Thuja plicata in a sunny spot in moist but well-drained soil. Trim hedges twice a year in spring and late summer, but do check for nesting birds before hand and leave pruning until autumn if you think birds may be using the hedge. Be careful if you have sensitive skin as the foliage may aggrevate skin allergies.

How to grow Thuja plicata

  • Plant size

    35m height

    9m spread

  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Well drained / light / sandy / clay / heavy / moist

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do not Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do Plant in September

Do Plant in October

Do Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Take cuttings
Take cuttings

Do not Take cuttings in January

Do not Take cuttings in February

Do not Take cuttings in March

Do not Take cuttings in April

Do not Take cuttings in May

Do not Take cuttings in June

Do Take cuttings in July

Do Take cuttings in August

Do not Take cuttings in September

Do not Take cuttings in October

Do not Take cuttings in November

Do not Take cuttings in December


Do not Prune in January

Do not Prune in February

Do Prune in March

Do Prune in April

Do not Prune in May

Do Prune in June

Do Prune in July

Do not Prune in August

Do not Prune in September

Do not Prune in October

Do not Prune in November

Do not Prune in December

Thuja plicata and wildlife

Thuja plicata has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Thuja plicata poisonous?

Thuja plicata has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People