Leylandse cypress (Cuprocyparis leylandii)is a Monterey cypress hybrid cross (Cupressus macrocarpa) en nootka valse cypress (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis). It is a fast-growing evergreen conifer (24 to 48 inches per year in early years) with a dense, broad-columnar to narrow-pyramidal habit. the scaly bark is reddish brown in color. It usually grows as a tree to a height of 60 to 70 feet unless pruned as a hedge or shrub. Leyland cypress has flattened sprays of gray-green foliage on slender upright branches and 3/4-9 inch dark brown cones.
Although an attractive tree, the Leyland cypress has become increasingly susceptible to a number of serious diseases and insect problems that are difficult or impossible to treat, and some authorities now advise against its use.
For best results, plant the trees when they are dormant in the fall, about six weeks before the first frost. Official sources do not list Leyland cypress as a poisonous plant, but mild skin irritation has been known to occur when handling the plant. It is best to wear gloves when pruning or otherwise pruning or handling the plant.There are also concerns about grazing animals getting sick from Leyland cypress browsing.You may not want to plant this specimen near horses, goats or if you have pets that are prone to chewing on branches.
|Common name||Leyland's cypress|
|botanical name||Cuprocyparis leylandii|
|Kind of plant||Coniferous evergreen tree|
|Adult size||60-70 feet tall. 10-15 feet. wide|
|Sun exposure||Full sun to partial shade|
|Soil type||Fertile, moist, well drained|
|bodem pH||Acidic to slightly alkaline|
|Flowering time||Not blooming|
|Flower color||Not blooming|
|Resilience zone||6–10 (USDA); can survive in zone 5|
|Indigenous area||Bred hybrid? Parents are natives of North America|
|Toxicity||Possible skin irritation. possibly toxic to grazing animals|
Leyland Cypress Care
For best growth, plant Leyland cypress in a sunny location with evenly moist, fertile soil. The spacing shouldn't be closer than 10 feet apart, but if your goal is a quick hedge (a common use), you can plant closer and then remove every other tree as the plants grow and they begin to crowd each other.
Be sure to prune them early and often. Otherwise, because of their rapid growth, Leyland cypress tends to get tall too quickly and overwhelm a landscape. Watch out for diseases of canker and root rot, which are often deadly.
While Leyland cypress will tolerate most lighting conditions, it will not tolerate dense shade. Grows best in open, sunny conditions or partially shaded areas.
While it prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soil, this tree tolerates a wide variety of soil types -- clay, loam, or sand, and acidic or alkaline. Dense, wet soils, however, are a recipe for root rot, which is usually deadly.
Water your Leyland cypress regularly to help the roots establish after spring or summer planting. A Leyland cypress takes a few months to become established and needs regular deep watering during this time, but after that a good rule of thumb is to give the tree about 1 gallon of water per week for every foot of height -- 10 feet. tree needs about 10 liters of water per week. This can be divided into two equal waterings per week during the active growing season. In winter, reduce watering to once or twice a month. Use soaker hoses, not sprayers that wet the foliage.
The tree will tolerate occasional drought or brief flooding, but be careful not to soak it in wet soil for extended periods as this can promote root rot.
Temperature and humidity
Leyland cypress trees are best grown in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 10, with temperatures no lower than minus 8 degrees Fahrenheit. However, zone 5 gardeners successfully grow them by providingchop woodand an A-frame shelter in the winter months to protect them from snow and ice damage. Such a canopy is only possible when the plants are young - unless you keep them close by pruning. Fortunately, shelter is unnecessary once the plants are fully grown, as they are often quite hardy to cold in zone 5.
Fertilize Leyland cypress in early spring, before new growth begins. Spread a 10-10-10 all-purpose fertilizer around the tree's drip line.
Varieties of Leyland cypress
The official classification of the Leyland cypress has been changed several times as horticulturists have debated which genus it belongs to and its origins. So you might see it listedCuprocyparis leylandii, Callitropsis×exercise,×Cupressocyparis leylandii of Cuprocyparis x leylandii.As of 2019, its official name in ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System).Cuprocyparis leylandii.However, many authoritative sources continue to use other scientific names.
There are many varieties of Leyland cypress, usually named for the color of the foliage.
- "Leighton groen"it has dark, forest green foliage, making it ideal for holiday decorations or for use as a Christmas tree.Heavy and sturdy, this variety has a rougher appearance than other varieties.
- "Silver Dust"has leaf structure similar to 'Leighton Green' but with white variegated spots on the leaf.
- "Naylor's Blue"it is known for its attractive blue-gray leaves. It grows up to 60 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide. Scaly needles vary in color depending on the season. In winter it takes on a ghostly gray hue.
- "Castlewellan"tends to grow cone-shaped. The delicate, lacy foliage is a favorite feature. In winter, the outside of the tree takes on a golden hue while the inside remains green.
- "Robinson's goldit has golden yellow foliage and is considered one of the best golden varieties.
- Emerald Island®has bright green leaves in flat clusters. It grows to 25 feet, making it a more manageable tree.
This tree tends to grow best with a central trunk, so it's wise to weed out competitors soon after planting. (However, Leyland cypress can be grown as a multi-trunk shrub, a preferred method if using them in a hedge.)
The height of a Leyland cypress can be controlled, but only through persistent pruning that begins when the plants are young. Prune the sides of Leyland cypress trees every July. After the leader reaches the height you want the tree to maintain, prune several inches below it (leaving room for smaller branches to grow vertically) to prevent further significant upward growth, as you would whengyroscopea tree.
When individual branches turn brown and fade, they should be pruned immediately, as this could be a sign of the onset of canker. If you catch it early enough, you can sometimes prevent the tree from dying altogether by pruning out the affected limbs before the fungus spreads through the tree. But this usually slows the progression of the disease rather than stopping it.
If these plants are grown as hedges, they are pruned up to three times during each growing season.
Propagating Leyland cypress
Because the tree is a hybrid, the seeds produced by the Leyland cypress are often sterile, and if they are fertile, planting them usually results in a tree that looks very different from the parent plant. Thus, this tree is best propagated by cuttings. According to legendary authority on woody plants, Michael Dirr, a good practice is to:
- In February or March, use sterilized pruning shears to take 6- to 8-inch semi-coniferous cuttings (brown wood on bottom, fresh green on top) from a tree less than 10 years old.
- Dip the end of the stem in rooting hormone, then plant it in a small pot filled with a porous growing medium, such as three parts perlite mixed with one part peat moss.
- Keep the cut in a warm, moist environment. Cover with shade cloth to diffuse direct sunlight. Keep moist (it is recommended to spray the roots with water twice a day). Rooting generally takes place within six to ten weeks.
- Once the plant has developed roots, it can be transplanted into a quart-sized container. After six to nine months it is ready to plant outdoors in the spring.
Leyland Cypress potting and repotting
The Leyland cypress is such a fast-growing tree that container cultivation is not very common, although it is sometimes used as a living Christmas tree. If you decide to grow it in a pot, use a large, wide container with good drainage holes (heavy plastic is a good choice) and fill it with standard potting mix that drains well. It will probably need to be repotted every year as the roots will fill the pot, but rather than repotting into larger containers it is best to cut the roots off and then replant them in the same container with fresh soil around the reduced size. carrot. This way you may be able to slow down the otherwise rapid growth rate of this plant.
Once it reaches 5 to 7 feet, the tree is ideal as a living Christmas tree, but when it grows taller, it's best to discard it or try transplanting it into the landscape. Most growers get tired of root pruning this large tree every year to keep it small enough for a container.
These trees can be prone to branch damage in areas with heavy snowfall, so heavy pruning towards mid-summer can prevent this.
In colder areas, protecting the shrub with an awning or burlap wrap can prevent it from burning in the winter, especially when the tree is young. However, a burlap-covered evergreen is not a very attractive winter specimen, so gardeners in zones 5 and 6 may want to grow a different variety.
In winter, watering should be reduced to once a month, as these trees are particularly sensitive to rooting in cold, wet soil.
Common plant pests and diseases
The frequency with which Leyland cypress succumbs to insect and disease damage is one reason some landscapers now do not recommend this plant.
A very serious insect problem for the Leyland cypress is the bags, which can strip a tree of its foliage in a matter of weeks unless you carefully remove the silk nest bags as soon as they appear. You may also experience spider mite infestations on this tree. A good solution to this problem is to spray with itneemolie.
Leyland cypress is susceptible to root rot caused byAmillariaInPhytophthorafungi and carcinomas caused bySerieInBotryosperiafungi. Cankers are more common during periods of prolonged drought. Both root rot and canker disease are incurable and widespread enough to make planting this tree a questionable choice, especially in areas where the diseases are common.
Common Problems With Leyland Cypress
Aside from the common mold and worm problems, the most common complaint with the Leyland cypress is that it grows faster than expected -- and to a size that can overwhelm landscapes. And this rapid growth, combined with a shallow root system, means that this tree can easily topple over in high winds, especially if the soil becomes saturated. This is a tree that needs to be pruned every year if you want to keep it manageable.
Blackening or yellowing branches
It is normal for the Leyland cypress to drop an individual limb as it grows. These can be easily pruned. This is a very dense tree and the central parts can die from lack of sunlight, so selective pruning of the tips to open the center to light and air is good practice.
If the tree turns brown on one side, you're likely seeing winter burn -- caused by a combination of cold temperatures and high winds. This is more common in younger trees and can be avoided by using burlap to wrap or tent the plant for the winter.
Finally, a deficiency on the inside or outside of the tree could be a sign that a serious canker disease is on the way. Affected limbs should be pruned back well below any wounds or bleeding wounds. If bags continue to form (probably), the tree should be removed.
Similarly, root rot can cause this type of damage, especially in wet conditions or if the tree is planted in wet soil where it will not get enough sun. Stop watering during wet weather and if the tree's branches continue to die, the tree should be removed.
How can I use this tree in the landscape?
The Leyland cypress grows in a graceful pyramidal shape with dense, heavy branches and feathery, scale-like leaves. It makes a good background plant in the landscape and pairs well with broadleaf evergreen shrubs.It is also a fast-growing shrub or windbreak, but needs regular pruning to maintain size.
How long does this tree live?
Twenty to 25 years is a typical lifespan for the Leyland cypress, although some specimens can live as long as 50 years.(Video) Leyland Cypress | Cupressocyparis leylandii
Can I use Leyland Cypress as a living Christmas tree?
The Leyland cypress is sometimes grown as a living Christmas tree in warmer regions, but doesn't work very well for this purpose in colder climates, as it doesn't tolerate the transition from indoors to outdoors very well. It is a very popular choice for this purpose in the southeastern US, where it can be grown year-round in a large pot filled with a well-draining potting medium (see "Potting and Repotting" above). A seedling in a 2-foot-tall pot can grow to the size of a Christmas tree in just a year or two.
Do not bring the tree indoors for more than seven to 10 days during the holidays and keep it moist but not soggy. Remember, this is a fast-growing tree, so it may be difficult to use it for the same purpose a second time the following year. Once it has fulfilled its holiday function, the tree is often transplanted into the landscape or discarded.
Is there a comparable tree that is less susceptible to disease and insect problems?
Yes. Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) also has an attractive pyramidal shape and is much less prone to serious problems. Often recommended as an alternative to Leyland cypress.
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to back up the facts in our articles. Read ourseditorial processto learn more about how we monitor our content and keep it accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
X Hesperotropis laylandii. Expansion of the state of North Carolina.
x Hesperotropsis leylandii. Expansion of the state of North Carolina.
Landscaping for horses requires careful planning.Oklahoma State University.
Landscaping for horses requires careful planning.Oklahoma State University.
Cuprocyparis leylandi.Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences.
Leyland's cypress.Expansion of the state of North Carolina.
Leyland cypress pruning. The Tree Center.
Director Michaels.Handbook of Woodland Landscape Plants.Stipes Publications, 1998.
x Hesperotropsis leylandii.Extension of North Carolina State University
x Hesperotropsis leylandii.Extension of North Carolina State University
Leyland's cypress. Clemson cooperative expansion.
The best time to plant your tree is during its dormancy in mid-fall. Plant your Leyland cypress tree in an area with well-drained soil that receives full sunlight to partial shade. Don't plant your tree directly on the property line, because this fast-growing, massive tree can grow onto your neighbor's property.How do you care for newly planted Leyland cypress? ›
For best growth, plant Leyland cypress in a full sun site with evenly moist, fertile soil. Spacing should be no closer than 10 feet apart, though if your goal is a quick hedge (a very common use), you can plant closer, then remove every other tree as the plants get large and begin to crowd one another.Where do Leyland cypress trees grow best? ›
The Leyland cypress grows well in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained and clay soils.How do you plant Leyland cypress? ›
Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and about three times as wide. Loosen the sides with a fork, but not enough that they collapse; then set the tree in the center of the hole and gently spread the roots out. Take care not to bend them sharply, because they can be fragile. Once the roots are spread, backfill the hole.How far to plant Leyland cypress from property line? ›
This quick growth assumes that the soil is reasonably fertile, moist and well drained, even though the Leyland cypress is advertised to grow on poor sites. Plant the cypresses at least 4 feet back from the property line.What time of year do you plant Leyland cypress? ›
The best time to plant your tree is during its dormancy in mid-fall. Plant your Leyland cypress tree in an area with well-drained soil that receives full sunlight to partial shade. Don't plant your tree directly on the property line, because this fast-growing, massive tree can grow onto your neighbor's property.Why not to plant Leyland cypress? ›
Leyland Cypress diseases are another factor to consider. Their root systems are quite shallow, and any stress on the plants weakens them to some common diseases, including blight, canker, and root rot. When planted as a hedge, the diseases can run right through the plants, damaging or killing the entire row.What are the cons of Leyland cypress? ›
Leyland Cypress' are known for uprooting in any kind of significant wind, which can cause damage to your home and personal property.How do you keep Leyland cypress healthy? ›
Prune your Leyland Cypress tree when young to encourage stronger growth and to minimize snow and ice damage. Regular fertilization, watering and pruning helps keep trees healthy and better able to tolerate stress and insect and disease conditions.Are coffee grounds good for Leyland cypress? ›
Fertilizer for Leyland cypress
Of course, when planting the hedge, feel free to add these fertilizers to the soil as you backfill. Used coffee grounds bring on nitrogen and even contribute making soil slightly more acidic. Leyland cypress appreciates that.
Leyland cypress is a short-lived conifer, with a typical lifespan of 20 to 25 years, and will eventually have to be removed.What is the best fertilizer for Leyland cypress? ›
Lacking a soil test, fertilize a mature Leyland cypress with 18-8-8 fertilizer. The three numbers show the ratio by weight of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The nitrogen is the critical nutrient for trees.
Thuja green giants are equipped to handle cold weather much better than the Leyland cypress can. However, they will not tolerate drought as well as the Leyland cypress. Thuja 'Green Giant' is popular because it is adaptable to many soils, requires almost no pruning, and is not susceptible to many pests or diseases.Do deer eat Leyland cypress? ›
Do deer eat Leyland cypress? Yes, they can consume these evergreen trees, especially in winter when food is scarce. Prepare for possible damage when cultivating Leyland cypress. Protect your trees if you're planting in an area with a high deer population.Can you plant Leyland cypress next to house? ›
However, while it is a fast-growing and attractive garden plant, you should probably keep it away from your house's foundation. Its fast growth could interfere with power lines, and the plant could experience soil drainage problems.How far apart should Leyland cypress be planted? ›
Leyland Cypress should be spaced 6 to 10 feet apart for quick privacy. For straight line traditional privacy we suggest planting your trees about 8 to 10 feet apart. Go closer to 8 feet for a wind or sound break.Why is my newly planted Leyland cypress turning brown? ›
Leyland cypress branches turn brown because of an infiltration of three types of fungi: seiridium, bought, and cercospora. These three fungi enter into the tree during the summer months when the heat enlarges the tree's stomata (pores on the leaf) and allow entrance of the fungi.How often should I water my newly planted Leyland cypress? ›
For the first and second years, water your Leyland cypress twice a week through spring and weekly in summer, tapering off to once to twice a month in winter. For trees three to five years old, water twice a month in spring through autumn and one to two times a month in winter.What kills Leyland cypress trees? ›
Drought. Possibly the most common reason for these cypress trees dying is drought. Unlike disease, a drought will quickly destroy your entire planting.What makes Leyland cypress grow fast? ›
Although it tolerates a wide range of conditions, Leyland cypress grows most quickly in full sun sites with adequate water and fertilizer applications, and when symptoms of its most common disease, canker, are treated.
Well-drained soil a must
“The amount of soil water is one of the most critical factors in the growth of Leyland cypress,” Daly said. “Excess water will increase root-rotting fungal diseases, and too little water leads to stress and ultimately stem and leaf diseases.”
10. Plant ivy, palm trees, juniper bushes, and cypress trees to attract rats. These plants and trees make wonderful homes for them.Are Leyland cypress toxic to dogs? ›
Other potentially harmful plants include Leyland Cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii), azaleas (Azalea spp.), and oleanders (Nerium oleander). If you're unsure about the safety of a particular plant, it's always best to err on the side of caution and choose something else.Do Leyland cypress attract bugs? ›
Aphids, mealybugs and scale insects all feed on the juices found within the Leyland cypress foliage, stems and twigs. Aphids and scale insects tend to feed in colonies. Aphids and scale insects also exude a sticky substance known as honeydew that attracts ants and provides a growth medium for sooty mold.What time of year do you prune Leyland cypress? ›
The best time to prune Leyland Cypress is after new growth emerges in the spring until roughly a month prior to the first hard frost. The way our seasons have been changing these past several years, we've been able to prune up until late October.Can Leyland cypress survive a freeze? ›
These trees are hardy to zone 6, however, they do not tolerate sudden temperature fluctuations. We indeed experienced some of these very cold sudden temperature fluctuations this past December and January.Do cypress trees attract ticks? ›
Chinese weeping cypress (Cupressus funebris) has also been shown to effectively repel deer tick nymphs.Do Leyland cypress have deep roots? ›
Leyland Cypress trees are shallow rooted. Positive drainage is a must! Downey Trees has several products to improve drainage and poor soils. Provide adequate spacing between plants.What temperature can Leyland cypress tolerate? ›
The Leyland Cypress can handle the heat.
These evergreens can tolerate a small amount of ice and snow and have a cold tolerance down to about -10 degrees Fahrenheit. Leylands do well in a variety of poor soils, sandy soils, and soils with a high salinity.
When planting leyland cypress trees, it is important to space them correctly. If you space your leylands too close, it may stunt the growth or starve the roots of nutrients. This could leave the trees more susceptible to diseases.
Either granular, liquid or stake type fertilizers can be used. Granular fertilizers can be worked into the soil around the plant at a rate of 2 lbs or 2 pints per 100 square feet of planting bed.How do you make Leyland cypress grow thicker? ›
Leyland Cypress pruning changes once the tree reaches the desired height. At that point, annually trim the top 6 to 12 inches (15-31 cm.) below the desired height. When it regrows, it will fill in more thickly.Can Leyland cypress take full sun? ›
Leyland cypress requires full sun to grow well, and when planted in shade, rapidly thins and sheds lower branches. Failure to realize how very tall the plants become (60 to 70 feet tall) leads to trees being planted in improper places, such as under overhead utility lines where a shorter screen would be quite adequate.Will a Leyland cypress grow back if it is cut down? ›
A: In a word, no. Needled evergreens like Leyland cypress do not sprout from brown stems. The bad side of your remaining trees will look like that forever.How tall is a full grown Leyland cypress? ›
Leyland Cypresses grow to heights of 50 feet with a canopy that can spread out to about 25 feet. If you want a taller hedge, screen or windbreak, young trees should be spaced at least 25 feet apart.What helps cypress trees grow? ›
The location must offer plenty of sunshine, now and in the future. Avoid sites where well-established trees may later shade out the young cypress. Provide young cypress trees a boost by fertilizing at the beginning of each growing season. Maintain consistent soil moisture by watering during dry spells.Can you fertilize a Leyland cypress in the summer? ›
Feed Cypresses in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins to emerge. Fast growing cypresses, such as the Leyland or Carolina or Arizona Cypress, can be fertilized again in late spring or early summer.What is the prettiest cypress tree? ›
Arizona Cypress (Cupressus Arizonica)
Arizona tree is mainly grown in Arizona and is one of the most beautiful trees in the world. It comes with yellow flowers that are produced in later winter and early spring.
That difference alone helps many gardeners determine which is best for their backyards and property lines. For a smaller yard, the emerald green arborvitae is likely the better choice. Leyland cypress trees are much better suited for larger properties.What is the fastest growing tree for privacy? ›
Arborvitaes and Leyland Cypress trees are two of the most popular picks for fast-growing privacy.
The best recommendation is to keep the trees well-watered during dry periods. Keep mulch no thicker than several inches deep and away from the base of the trunk. Avoid over-fertilization. Leyland cypresses grow best in full sun with plenty of air circulation and appreciate moisture during dry periods.Do birds nest in Leyland cypress trees? ›
Garden birds often build their nests in the Leyland cypress's dense foliage because of the excellent protection it offers.Do squirrels like cypress trees? ›
Since squirrels frequently den in cypress trees, it's not unusual to find several in one tree or in close proximity. More often than not, these groups are young squirrels that are not yet woods wise. In the first few days of the season, even a shotgun blast often does not alarm them.Where is the best place to plant Leyland cypress? ›
Plant a Leyland cypress hedge in a single row in any reasonable soil in sun or partial shade. Ideally plant in autumn or early spring and water during dry spells during the first growing season. Trim two or three times a year to maintain a neat well-shaped hedge.What is the best potting soil for Leyland cypress? ›
The Leyland cypress grows well in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained and clay soils.
For the first and second years, water your Leyland cypress twice a week through spring and weekly in summer, tapering off to once to twice a month in winter. For trees three to five years old, water twice a month in spring through autumn and one to two times a month in winter.How long does it take Leyland cypress to root? ›
It will take about three months to sufficiently root cuttings. Once cuttings have been rooted, they need to be transplanted into larger containers such as 15 cm (six-inch) or 5 litre (one-gallon) pots.How much water does a newly planted Leyland cypress need? ›
How much water does Leyland cypress need? For a newly planted Leyland cypress tree, 4 to 10 gallons of water per week is a starting point. But if you want to get a better idea of how much water your specific tree needs, the answer is in the soil. Dig into the top 4 to 6 inches of soil and gauge the amount of moisture.How often should you water newly planted cypress trees? ›
Give the tree a good soaking every week for the first few months. Cypress trees need water most in spring when they enter a growth spurt and in fall just before they go dormant. They can withstand occasional drought once established, but it's best to water them if you haven't had a drenching rain for more than a month.What are the tips for planting cypress trees? ›
Plant them in light sandy or loam soil. Cypress trees will grow with partial shade, but they perform best in full sun. Dig the hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Place the tree in the hole so its base sits an inch or two above the surrounding soil.
Leyland cypress trees need very little care. Water them deeply during prolonged drought, but avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot.How do you thicken Leyland cypress? ›
Leyland Cypress pruning changes once the tree reaches the desired height. At that point, annually trim the top 6 to 12 inches (15-31 cm.) below the desired height. When it regrows, it will fill in more thickly.Can you overwater cypress trees? ›
They will not tolerate constantly soggy or wet soil conditions, which can lead to root rot and other harmful plant diseases. So be careful not to over-water them! Note: It's a good idea to know the soil moisture preferences for the specific varieties of cypress you intend to plant.What kind of fertilizer do cypress trees need? ›
Either granular, liquid or stake type fertilizers can be used. Granular fertilizers can be worked into the soil around the plant at a rate of 2 lbs or 2 pints per 100 square feet of planting bed.What is the best potting soil for cypress? ›
Cypress plants prefer sandy, humus-rich, well-draining soil with plenty of nutrients.How do I know if my cypress tree needs water? ›
To tell if False Cypress needs to be watered, it's as easy as observing the foliage. Like many evergreens, the foliage turns brown when the shrub is dehydrated. It is possible to water this evergreen too much, particularly after the shrub has been established.