Don looked at the upright, narrow-growing form of the western red cedar. Thuja plicata ‘Fastigiata’ is a small tree to about 10m (30-40′) tall and 2m (6′) wide. It has a narrow, columnar growth habit, short branches and attractive deep green foliage. It grows best in the cooler areas of Australia.
This cultivar makes a very attractive hedge and is ideal for screening in a narrow area. It is not as vigorous as the Leyland cypress and it is easier to keep under control. Some conifers have a lot of dead, brown material within the foliage. Thuja plicata ‘Fastigiata’ stays green inside the plant, so it is less likely to ignite in the case of a fire. Don thinks this is a much better choice than Leyland cypress, particularly for the cooler zones.
Order from your local nursery. Expect to pay $33 for a 250mm (10″) pot and $55 for a 300mm (12″) pot.
(Tip: don’t be put off by the appearance of the young plants. Although they are ‘ugly ducklings’ they grow into beautiful trees.)