Holmstrups are a true staple in the Alberta landscape for a good reason. Where some Arborvitae varieties struggle to weather our tough winters; the Holmstrup typically thrives. Its glossy, dense evergreen foliage, offers a picturesque, west coast feel, year-round. It’s slow growth, low maintenance, and moderate size make it a perfect set-and-forget perimeter option.

What You Need To Know

  • Appearance: Dense, scale-like foliage in deep green. Maintains an upright, narrow columnar form.
  • Size:
    • Height: 8-12 feet tall
    • Spread: 3-4 feet wide
  • Growth Rate: 6-12 inches once established 
  • Light Requirements: Prefers full sun to partial shade.
  • Soil: Adapts to various soils but thrives in moist, well-draining conditions.
  • Water: Water regularly when young. Once established, it tolerates some drought.
  • Hardiness Zones: USDA Zones 3-7.
  • Uses: Privacy screens, specimen plants, containers, foundation plantings.

Interesting Facts:

  • A Modern Cultivar: Developed from Eastern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis), the Holmstrup Cedar is a relatively new cultivar, recognized for its dwarf stature and ideal for smaller landscapes.
  • Tolerates Shade: Unlike many other cedars that prefer full sun, the Holmstrup Cedar can tolerate some shade, making it versatile for planting under trees or in north-facing locations.


  • If using for a privacy screen, installing slow release fertilizer spikes once a year will make the plants dramatically more full and effective!
  • To ensure a good screen ensure as little sun interference as possible. Like many conifers Arborvitae will grow much fuller with more sun. 

Interested In Adding This Unique Tree To Your Property?

Contact Edmonton Arborist and our expert tree planting team will bring and install your very own Holmstrup Cedar!

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Consumer choice award for Northern Alberta tree services 2022 and 2023!