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Thuja plicata ‘Virescens’

Western Red Cedar hedge makes a visually striking hedge in any outdoor space with a dense habit that stays evergreen throughout the year. It generally thrives in moist environments and regions with cooler summer climates, but does well in a variety of settings. The Virescens Western Red Cedar does promise a vibrant green color year-round and makes an excellent privacy hedge.


Western Red Cedar Growing Regions
  • Thuja Plicata ‘Virescens’ is dense but not overly constricted, and the foliage works well with casual or regular pruning. Virescens Western Red Cedar grows best in moist, fertile soils with good drainage and performs especially well in cooler environments.
  • The tree is native to the Pacific Northwest where it is typically in found damp forested areas, from southern Alaska along the coast to northern California and from British Columbia east to Montana.
  • The Western Red Cedar is the largest tree in the Cypress family. In its native habitat, it can reach up to 200 feet tall and live for hundreds, and even thousands, of years.
  • The Western red cedar growth rate is fast, up to 2' per year.
  • The tree’s scale-like foliage is aromatic when crushed and its red-brown bark is equally fragrant.


Western Red Cedar is an ideal choice for hedges, providing instant gratification in the form of lush greenery, as well as long-term benefits such as:

  • Dark glossy green foliage that keeps its form and color in all seasons
  • Conical shape and fast growth that responds well to hedging
  • Tall mature height creates a great privacy screen
  • Western Red Cedars are easy to maintain in different climates
  • With a taller and narrower habit than other Thujas, the vertical branching on Thuja plicata ‘Virescens’ makes a uniquely attractive hedge. To explore other types of Arborvitae, take a look at Green Giant Arborvitae , Emerald Green Arborvitae and American Arborvitae.
USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 - 9
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Sun/Shade: Partial Shade to Full Sun
Deer Resistance: Yes
Watering Requirements: Moderate
Growth Rate: Fast, up to 2’ per year
Mature Size: Up to 12’ height and 4’ width
Drought Tolerance: Moderate
West Coast - Sunset Heat Zones: 1 - 9, 15 - 17, 21 - 24, 32 - 45
Pest/Disease Issues:
Western Red Cedar shows no major pest or disease issues. Susceptible to beetle borers, leaf miner and spider mites, oak root rot.

Virescens Western Red Cedar's Quick Features

  1. The native Western Red Cedar is commonly found in north western United States and Canada.
  2. It has scale like foliage which is glossy, green and aromatic.
  3. Virescens Western Red Cedar’s dense, bushy habit makes it one of the best evergreen privacy hedges.
  4. It is easy to maintain as it needs pruning twice a year.
  5. Its foliage creates secure, safe and comfortable nesting ground for birds.
  6. Thuja plicata ‘Virescens’ grows best in deep, moist and well drained soil.

Western Red Cedar: Care and Maintenance

Fertilize the Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Virescens’) with a basic tree and shrub slow-release fertilizer in early spring to invite new growth. To encourage bushy growth, prune it in early spring or late winter. Prune lightly and frequently, avoiding pruning into old wood to prevent browning. Apply mulch to Western Red Cedar hedge in fall to protect the roots, conserve water, and enrich the soil.

Landscape Gallery

  • Western Red Cedar Hedge in Suburban Park Driveway Estate

    Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata 'Virescens') hedge shows the boundary between two properties in a graceful way.

  • Virescens Western Red Cedar Hedge in Cottage Country

    This little cottage garden with table and chairs is made more private with the arborvitae (Thuja) hedge behind.

  • Thuja Virescens Western Red Cedar hedge in Country Garden

    The flowers in this bed look even more stunning when set against the dark green background of Western Red Cedar hedge.