Western Red Cedar 'Martin'
Western red cedar ‘Martin’ is a popular fast growing conifer with fragrant olive-green foliage. It looks similar to leyland cypress, but reaches its desired height much more slowly than this extremely fast growing species – although this is partially compensated for by a convenient growth spurt during its first years. Western red cedar ‘Martin’ is quite undemanding with regard to its position and is very tolerant of pruning and trimming, which makes it great for formal screening hedges or privacy hedges with a more natural appearance. Western red cedar varieties have a habit of growing very tall as a trees (taller than white cedars), as it can reach a height of up to 20-35m. For hedging purposes it can be kept at 2-3m, which is a decent, convenient size for most situations.
Western red cedar ‘Martin’ does not require a spacious garden unless it is left unpruned. One or two clippings a year will easily keep it in check and its narrow growth habit allows you to keep it relatively slender. The best time for this is autumn and it may be clipped again in late spring. Thuja plicata ‘Martin’ produces small cones after the growing season. Rigorous cutbacks into bare wood should be avoided to ensure an undamaged screening hedge. Western red cedar ‘Martin’ will provide year-round privacy in most positions and conditions, however, it dislikes both dry periods and waterlogging. This thuja variety is tolerant of chalky soils and should be watered well during the first years.
Western Red Cedar ‘Martin’ Maintenance
This may seem a bit strange, as western red cedars dislike waterlogging as much as most other conifers. Since western red cedar ‘Martin’ grows a little faster directly after planting than later in life, when it grows at an average rate of around 30 centimetres per year, its saplings need a little more water in order to provide them with the nutrition they need to grow. Once western red cedar ‘Martin’ has become established, however, it is a fairly low-maintenance hedge plant. As long as you keep your western red cedar ‘Martin’ hedge in check by pruning it once or twice every year, it will serve as an excellent screening hedge that ensures year-round privacy.
Western Red Cedar ‘Martin’ Screening Hedges
Aside from being relatively low-maintenance, western red cedar ‘Martin’ has more qualities that make it an ideal hedging plant for British gardens. This cultivar can go on to live for multiple centuries and is very frost hardy. It will survive the average British winter without needing any extra precautions. Because of this, it is not surprising that the western red cedar species, despite hailing from the western regions of North America, has become naturalised in Great Britain. Any British gardener looking for a decent privacy hedge should at least consider this fabulous evergreen hedge plant, as western red cedar ‘Martin’ is simply ideal for screening purposes.