Forever Goldie Arborvitae Tree


2-3 ft.



I. General Information

  • Common name: 4ever Goldy, Forever Goldie, Plicata ‘4EVER’, Western Red Cedar (WRC), Giant red cedar, Giant arborvitae, Shinglewood, and Canoe cedar
  • Scientific name/Botanical name: Thuja plicata ‘Forever Goldy’, Thuja plicata
  • Family: Cupressaceae
  • Origin: Pacific Northwest region of North America
  • Growth Rate: Vigorous
  • Growing Zones: 5,6,7,8
  • Mature height: 12ft
  • Mature width: 3-4ft 
  • Sunlight: Full sun to partial-shade
  • Uses: Background, Containers, Foundation planting, Hedge, Massing, Ornamental, Privacy, Screen, Specimen

II. Identification

  • Leaf: Shiny green
  • Bark: Western Red Cedar has vertical ridges
  • Color: Yellow/golden foliage

III. Description

Fastgrowing, conical conifer that has great, curving branches low down. H 70–100ft (20–30m), S 15–25ft (5–8m), greater if lower branches self-layer. Has redbrown bark, scalelike, glossy, dark green leaves, which have pineapple aroma when crushed, and erect, ovoid, green cones, ripening to brown. Z6–8 H8–6.

IV.Planting & Care

Location/Exposure This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It will do better in a somewhat sheltered location.  Mulching around the root zone will help protect the roots in more exposed locations and in colder climates.

Soil Preferences Forever Goldie prefers to grow in average to moist conditions.  Avoid allowing it to dry out, another benefit to mulching liberally.  It’s not particularly choosy regarding pH, just avoid extremely acid or extremely alkaline sites as a guide.

Planting – Pots/Containers Young plants are well suited to growing in large pots or containers.   Use a well drained organic potting mix containing about 20% organic matter.  Add a bit of sand to the mix if it feels too dense to assure good drainage through the pot.  Select a pot with plenty of room for the root ball, use about 2X the area of the root ball as a guide for the size of your pot.

Planting — Garden Plant when soil conditions are workable, from fall through spring.  Your hole should be the same depth and  twice as wide as the root ball.  Sprinkle a little bone meal in the hole and mix well, then backfill with your garden soil blended with a modest amount of compost.


Watering For the first couple years, keep the soil well watered.  Once roots are established, it can tolerate some degree of drier conditions as long as you have mulched it well.  In pots and containers, keep the soil moist at all times and avoided extended drying out periods.

Fertilization Not particularly choosy regarding fertilizer applications, especially if you’re applying compost and mulch.  Use a general purpose slow release,  10-10-10 in modest rates according to label in the spring if desired.

Weed Control Mulch well to suppress weeds.

Pests and Diseases Fairly tolerant to insects and diseases, remove dieback growth to prevent entry points for disease and secondary insect feeding. Deer tend to leave them alone too.

Pruning, Propagation and other recs This relatively low maintenance tree doesn’t require much pruning, but if necessary for shaping, limit trimming to new growth of the current season, and any dieback branches.



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