Thuja plicata, commonly known as 'Western Red Cedar', or 'Arborvitae', is native to the Pacific Northwest and a popular tree for privacy screens. With naturally flowing branches, soft, fragrant, evergreen foliage, and a full-bodied pyramidal form it stays attractive all year. These trees can literally provide complete privacy with little maintenance in just a few years.
Western Red Cedars look great when left in their natural shape, but respond extremely well to shearing or pruning for a more uniform shape.
The ease of growing Arborvitae is partly because they tolerate almost any soil type, are cold hardy, and somewhat deer resistant. They are not picky plants, however, they do best when planted in ideal conditions. Just make sure they are planted in well-draining soil and give them adequate water. They can take full to part sun but do best when they get some afternoon shade from the summer sun.
There are several different cultivars of Western Red Cedar. Although they all share similar characteristics in foliage, form, location needs, one difference is the rate of growth and size at maturity.