Black Cedar


i have a very imposing house behind my property
i am looking to grow some fast growing cedars
i would like native plants to my region which is norwich.
22 minutes south of woodstock

climate zone is 6a
full sun most of the day
think its clay
wet or dry? not sure

thanks in advance


Hello – Eastern white cedar (Thuga occidentalis) is an Ontario native cedar. It can grow to 40-60 feet in the wild but in a home garden usually only reaches 20-40 feet.  Young trees have a narrow, conical form which becomes broader as they mature.  It is considered to have a slow to medium growth rate – 13-24 inches/year under ideal conditions.  It tolerates a variety of soil conditions.  Cedars can suffer from winter-burn if the fall has been particularly dry.  Care must be taken to water well if rain is limited in the fall.  If grown close to roads that are salted, the spray will turn them brown. They are a favourite winter food of deer and can be severely damaged by their browsing. Below are links to two sources of additional information and photos of Eastern white cedar.

The black cedar (Thuga occidentalis ‘Nigra’) that you mention in the subject line is a cultivar of Eastern white cedar.  A cultivar is a plant variety that has been produced in cultivation by selective breeding.  The cultivar name is shown in quotation marks following the species name – in this case ‘Nigra’. So black cedar is a non-native.  It is also smaller than the species growing to 15-20 feet at maturity with an annual growth rate of 6-8 inches.  It has a narrower form than Eastern white cedar and a darker green colour. While it is somewhat less hardy than Eastern white cedar, it should do well in your conditions. The link below will take you to more information on black cedar.

There are many other cedar cultivars available but Eastern white cedar is the only Ontario native cedar. I hope this information helps with your cedar selection.