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How To Grow and Care for Leyland Cypress?

Leyland cypress

Are you on the hunt for a great evergreen tree that can jazz up your garden while also keeping it private?

Well, you might want to consider the Leyland Cypress! It’s a popular choice since it’s a fast grower and easy to maintain.

But before you go all in on planting this tree, you must learn to grow and care for it properly.

This article will walk you through everything you need to know about planting and maintaining Leyland Cypress, including the most common problems and how to avoid them.

What Is Leyland Cypress?

Leyland Cypress, also known as Cupressus x leylandii, is a hybrid evergreen tree first cultivated in Wales during the mid-1800s.

This hybrid was created by crossing Monterey Cypress and Nootka Cypress, resulting in a resilient and fast-growing tree.

Leyland tree has a slender, conical shape with dense foliage of flat, scale-like leaves that are dark green or gray-green.

The tree is one of the fastest-growing trees in the world. It can grow up to 50-70 feet (15-21 m) tall and 15-25 (4.5-7.5 m) feet wide, making it a great option for creating privacy hedges and windbreaks.

There are several varieties of Leyland Cypress, each with its unique features. Some of the most popular varieties include the following:

  • Castlewellan Gold: Castkewellan has bright golden-yellow foliage that can add a pop of color to any garden. It grows up to 60 feet (18 m) tall and 20 feet (6 m) wide.
  • Haggerston Gray: This variety has gray-green foliage that can tolerate heat and drought. It can grow up to 50-60 feet (15-18 m) tall and 15-25 (4.5-7.5m) feet wide.
  • Leighton Green: Leighton Leyland Cypress is known for its deep green foliage that grows densely and can provide excellent privacy screening. It can grow up to 60-70 feet (18-21 m) tall and 15-20 feet (4.5-6 m) wide.
Leyland Is Green

The Leyland Cypress tree is known for absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making it an important part of efforts to combat climate change.

How To Grow Leyland Cypress?

Leyland cypress
Source: Wikimedia

Check below for a detailed description of how to plant Leyland Cypress for a healthy and strong tree.

Choosing the Right Location for Planting

Leyland Cypress trees thrive in full sun or partial shade. Choose a location that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.

Ensure the area is well-drained with enough space for the tree to grow to its full height and width.

Soil Preparation and Planting Techniques

Before planting Leyland Cypress, remove any weeds or grass and mix in organic matter like compost.

Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball and just as deep. Place the tree in the hole, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the soil.

Backfill the hole with soil and tamp it down to remove any air pockets.

Watering and Fertilizing Requirements

Leyland Cypress trees require regular watering, especially during the first few years of growth.

Water deeply once a week or more often during hot and dry weather.

Fertilize the tree once a year with a balanced fertilizer to promote healthy growth.

Spacing and Planting Tips

Leyland Cypress trees should be spaced 8-10 feet (2.5-3 m) apart if you’re planting a privacy hedge.

If you’re planting a single tree, space it at least 20-25 feet (8-1.5 m) away from other trees or structures.

Plan for Leyland tree’s potential height and width to avoid any future problems.

As mentioned earlier, Leyland Cypress can grow up to 40-60 feet (12-18 m) tall and 15-25 feet (4.5-7.5 m) wide.

How To Care for Leyland Cypress?

Raindropw on Leyland cypress
Source: Wikimedia

Keep your Leyland tree alive and healthy with the following tips.

Pruning Techniques and Timing

Leyland Cypress trees require minimal pruning. Remove the dead or damaged branches in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

Avoid pruning Leyland Cypress in the fall. The tree will be more susceptible to winter damage.

Maintaining Soil Moisture and pH Level

Leyland Cypress trees require consistent soil moisture to ensure proper growth and health.

Water the tree deeply once a week or more often during hot and dry weather.

Additionally, it’s important to maintain the soil pH level between 6.0 and 6.5 by adding lime if the soil is too acidic or sulfur if it is too alkaline.

Pests and Disease Management

Leyland Cypress trees are generally resistant to pests and diseases but can be susceptible to certain issues like spider mites, bagworms, and canker diseases.

To manage these issues, keep the tree healthy with regular watering and fertilization and prune away any infected branches as soon as you notice them.

Winter Care and Protection

During the winter months, Leyland Cypress trees can be susceptible to heavy snow and ice damage.

To protect the tree, wrap the trunk with burlap or other protective material and tie the branches together to prevent breakage.

Additionally, avoid using salt or de-icing products near the tree, as this can damage the roots and foliage.

Possible Problems

Leyland Cypress trees are generally easy to care for, but they can sometimes face issues that affect their growth and health.

Watch out for the following:

  • Root Rot: Caused by overwatering or poorly draining soil. Signs include yellow leaves and wilting. To prevent this, ensure the soil drains well and avoid overwatering.
  • Canker Diseases: Fungal diseases that cause death or dying areas on the trunk and branches. Maintain tree health and prune infected branches to prevent cankers.
  • Bagworms: Pests that eat away at foliage. Remove by hand or use insecticidal spray.
  • Spider Mites: These pests turn foliage yellow and create a web-like appearance. Remove by spraying with water or using insecticidal soap.


Leyland Cypress trees are a beautiful and practical addition to any garden or landscape.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your trees grow healthy and strong and add beauty and value to your property for years to come.

Remember to pay attention to spacing and pruning techniques and to watch out for common issues like root rot and canker diseases.

With a little care and attention, your Leyland Cypress trees will thrive and bring you and your family joy.

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