Thuja plicata '4ever' / Forever Goldy™ western arborvitae

Thuja plicata '4ever' is a upright, broadly conical selection of western arborvitae (western red-cedar) with mostly fastigiate branching holding bold plates of rich, creamy yellow foliage with orange overtones. The color is very durable throughout the seasons, only becoming more orange in winter in colder parts of the world. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 6 feet (2 m) tall and 4 feet (1.3 m) wide, an annual growth rate of 6 to 8 inches (15 - 20 cm).

This cultivar originated as a seedling selected in the early 2000s by Andreas J.M. Luijten of Boomkwekerij Dries Luijten BV, Steensel, The Netherlands. In 2006, it was awarded U.S. Plant Patent #19267. Note that Forever Goldy™ is the most commonly seen trade name, although Goldy™ is the actually recorded trade name in the patent.

Thuja plicata '4ever' — a young specimen in a private garden in Petaluma, California (USDA Zone 9b / Mediterranean climate).
Photo by Sara Malone



What type of fertilizer should be used? I'm not experienced with conifers, and intend to grow this in a container for a few years.

Web Editor

Container-grown conifers should be fertilized using a general balanced fertilizer according to the product directions. Ensure that the container is large enough.


I have a Forever Goldy arborvitae—it’s approximately 4 to 5 years old. It’s still no taller than when I bought it, but it’s much bushier, but not taller. It’s almost growing round versus tall. Is there a way I can prune it to get it to grow up and not wide?

Plant Nerd

It might be doing that seeking light. Is it in a pot? Make sure it’s getting as much overhead light as possible, and not having to reach sideways for it.

Web Editor

if it were seeking light it would be likely leaning towards the light source, not widening uniformly. This is a pretty chubby shrub-like tree. It doesn't grow tall and slender.