Black versus White Cedar

(Question)

We are looking to create a tall cedar wall hedge.
Located in Toronto, sunny in the morning, wet area and clay soil.
What is the difference between black cedar and white cedar? (color, width, height at maturity, can it be prune to keep a narrow depth, growing speed)
Can you send picture of both as hedging?
Trying to see which one is a better option for us.
Thank you

(Answer)

Black cedar (Thuja occidentalis ‘Nigra’) is smaller and narrower than white cedar (Thuja occidentalis), with darker green foliage year-round.  Either would work well as a hedge, although the ultimate height of each cedar may be a major consideration for you.   Here are some differences:

Height: Black grows to 4.6-6 metres (15-20 feet); White to 6-12 metres (20-40 feet)

Spread: Black – thinner/narrower

Colour: Black – darker green foliage (even through winter) than white

Bark: Black – dark reddish-brown; White- lighter brown

We generally don’t post photos of plants, here are a few links with more detailed information about the cedars:

I suggest that you do search on the Internet using the Latin names of the cedar – this brings up lots of images, and you can do your own comparison of the cedars.

I found no literature that compares the growing speed of one versus the other cedar, although generally cedars grow quickly relative to other hedging trees. For further information and also differences in pruning, you may want to consult your local nursery.

All the best in choosing the right cedar for your needs.