Western Red Cedar 'Excelsa'
Western red cedar ‘Excelsa’ is a thuja variety that is easily pruned and will create a nice formal or (if desired) more natural hedge with one or two clippings a year. This hardy evergreen offers winter interest regardless of the temperatures. As it dislikes wet feet, it should not be planted in a soil that is clearly prone to waterlogging. Thuja plicata ‘Excelsa’ favours a position in sun to partial shade and can also handle deep shade well. This conifer must be watered carefully the first year, but once the saplings are well-established they can take care of themselves. Western red cedar produces clusters of tiny cones.
Western Red Cedar ‘Excelsa’ for Tall Privacy Hedges
Western red cedar is alternatively known as the giant cedar, because it is capable of reaching a height of well over 50 metres as a solitary tree. Since it has an average growth rate of 30 centimetres per year, however, it will take a long time before it grows that tall and it is easy to keep in check. Therefore, western red cedar ‘Excelsa’ is simply a great plant for hedging purposes. It has a growth habit that is dense enough to use this western red cedar cultivar as a privacy hedge and because the western red species is very long-lived – specimens have been found in the wild that are estimated to have been around for more than a millennium – they are a very durable choice if year-round screening is what you are looking for.
Western Red Cedar ‘Excelsa’ in British Gardens
The name of the western red cedar refers to its native range, which is located on the west coast of North America, but the species has become naturalised in the UK. This is the ultimate proof of its capability to cope with the climate on the British Isles. Western red cedar ‘Excelsa’ is very hardy and will therefore retain its healthy, fresh colour during the winter months. In addition, its beautiful foliage has a scent that is considered very pleasant by many. This multifaceted hedging conifer is therefore a great hedge plant for almost any garden.