Emerald Cedars vs. Western Red Cedars

November 30th, 2021
Emerald Cedars vs. Western Red Cedars

Two of the most common evergreen hedge trees on the Lower Mainland are Emerald Cedars and Western Red Cedars. Not everyone would even be able to tell them apart, but there are differences between them. In this blog article, we are going to go over the differences between them for you.

Cypress Family and True Cedars

Neither the Emerald Cedar nor the Western Red Cedar are true cedars. We call them cedars in Canada, but both types of trees are actually in the Cypress family, Cupressaceae. True cedars are from the genus, Cedrus, like the Himalyan Cedar, Cedrus deodara, which is not a hedge tree. Both the Emerald Cedar and Western Red Cedar are native to North America.

Emerald Cedars

The Emerald Cedar is Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd.’ It is a fast-growing, evergreen conifer that is resistant to disease and insects. The Emerald Cedar is a brighter green than the Western Red Cedar, and it is also naturally a little smaller than the Western Red Cedar. Its terminal height is around 15 feet.

Planting it in full sun leads to denser growth. The foliage is flat and feathery. They can be pruned to the size and shape you want and can even be pruned into topiaries.

Western Red Cedars

The Western Red Cedar is Thuja plicata. It is another fast-growing tree, slightly darker green than the Emerald Cedar. The Western Red Cedar is naturally a bigger tree that can reach a terminal height of 150 feet given the right conditions.

As a hedge tree, it will grow bigger and faster than the Emerald Cedar but will also require more pruning because it naturally wants to grow bigger. Native cultures used the Western Red Cedar for dugout canoes and paddles, and it is the official tree of British Columbia.

The Western Red Cedar is slightly more tolerant of partial shade than the Emerald Cedar. Both varieties are commonly used for hedges, and both perform admirably in that role.

Pacific West Cedars, based in Langley, British Columbia, farms, supplies, and installs cedar hedging on the Lower Mainland. They offer two kinds of cedars plus boxwoods: Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), and Emerald Cedars (Thuja occidentalis “Smaragd”). They work with landscapers, contractors, and also directly with the public.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about cedars, we encourage you to call us at (778) 241-5664.


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