How to plant a leyland cypress tree

Everything You Need to Know About Leyland Cypress Trees

Leyland cypress trees are an exceptionally fast-growing tree that can create a lush, natural privacy screen in just a few years. These low-maintenance evergreens keep their bluish-green, needled leaves year-round, and are tolerant of many soil types and a range of sunlight. If you want to block out unwanted noise, shield a view of a busy street, or get some privacy from your neighbors, the Leyland cypress is the perfect tree for you.

Leyland Cypress Trees at a Glance

  • Fast-growing
  • Low-maintenance
  • Excellent for privacy screens
  • Green year-round
  • Salt-tolerant
  • Shallow roots


Leyland cypress trees grow in a pyramidal, conical shape with flattened sprays of bluish-green, needled leaves. They grow to an impressive height of 40-60 feet if not pruned down, with a spread of 15-20 feet. Growing 3 feet or more by their second year, Leyland cypress trees achieve this great height quickly.

Hardiness Zones

USDA Hardiness Zones show the best regions to grow various types of plants. Leyland cypress trees thrive in Zones 6-10, across a large swath of the country from the West Coast to the East Coast, with greatest growth from zones 6-8.


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.

Dig a hole twice the width of the root ball. You want to plant the tree so that is even with the surrounding soil. Gently tease the roots of the tree before you place it in the hole to encourage the roots to grow outward. Backfill the hole with the soil you dug out, and create a ring of mulch around the tree, not letting it touch the trunk. Water your tree every day for one week, then water every other day. By the third week, you can water as needed.

If you plant multiple trees, space them out 6-10 feet apart.

Growing Conditions

Leyland cypress trees have a reputation for being low-maintenance, adaptable to a range of sunlight and soil conditions. They don’t even need pruning, unless you want to achieve a specific, consistent height.

Sun and shade

Leyland cypress trees flourish in full sunlight—at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day. They can also tolerate partial shade.


The soil must be well-drained, but other than that, Leyland cypress trees aren’t picky. They will grow in a wide range of soils, including alkaline, acidic, sandy, clay, and loamy.


Water your Leyland cypress tree deeply and irregularly, about once a week, giving it about an inch of water total each time. As your tree ages, you can give it water less frequently. Do not use an irrigation system, because that can overwater your tree and lead to root rot.


You should fertilize in early spring, before your Leyland cypress tree has new growth. Use a slow-release, balanced fertilizer with an NPK value of 10-10-10. You don’t need to fertilize every year, and should leave it up to your judgment.


If left unpruned, Leyland cypress trees will reach great heights. However, they will maintain their pyramidal shape without any intervention. If you want a hedge of a certain height and to encourage dense growth, prune your tree annually.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far apart should you plant them?

To give them adequate room to grow, you should plant Leyland cypress trees at least 6-10 feet apart.

When is the best time to plant them?

Plant your tree in mid-fall when it is dormant.

How long do they live?

Leyland cypress trees live about 10-25 years.

Do they have invasive roots?

Leyland cypress trees have a shallow, non-invasive root system.

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How to Plant Leyland Cypress Along the Property Line | Home Guides

By Reannan Raine Updated September 22, 2022

Leyland cypress ​(Cupressocyparis leylandii)​ is an evergreen conifer that grows 1 ½ to 3 feet per year to a height of 50 to 70 feet and width of 10 to 15 feet, according to the Missouri Botanic Garden website. The North Carolina State University Extension website notes that they are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 to 10. In addition to being planted as specimen trees, they often are planted along property lines as hedges or screens. They should never be planted directly on the property line, however, and planting Leyland cypress near fences is not advised.

Leyland Cypress tree branches that extend onto your neighbor’s property may be unwelcome. Your neighbor is well within his or her rights to prune the branches off back to the property line.

  1. 1. Best Time to Plant Leyland Cypress

    Plant Leyland cypress bare-root, balled and burlapped, and container-grown trees in late winter or early spring. Trees that have been grown in their containers for one year or less can be planted at any time during the growing season. Soak bare-root tree roots in a bucket of water for 12 to 24 hours before planting.

  2. 2. Measure the Tree

    Measure half the expected mature width of the Leyland cypress tree, or 7 ½ to 8 feet in from the property line with a tape measure. Mark this point with a stake or chalk.

  3. 3. Measure the Rootball

    Measure the width of the Leyland cypress rootball, container or, in the case of bare-root trees, the roots when spread gently by hand. Double this measurement for average soil and triple the measurement for compacted soil to determine the required width of the planting hole. Dig the hole to the determined width with the stake or chalk mark at the center.

  4. 4. Dig the Planting Hole

    Measure the height of the rootball, the soil within the container of container-grown trees or the length of the roots from the soil line on bare-root trees, which is visible on the trunk. Subtract 2 inches from this measurement, which determines the Leyland Cypress planting depth. Dig the hole to that depth.

  5. 5. Check the Site for Drainage

    Scrape the sides and bottom of the planting hole with a hand rake or the tip of a dirt shovel if the soil is heavy clay. Fill the hole with water. Check the water level after 24 hours. Select a new planting site if the water has not drained into the soil. Leyland cypress do not tolerate very poor-draining soils that remain wet for extended periods of time.

  6. 6. Set the Tree Into the Hole

    Break up clumps in the soil removed from the hole using a dirt shovel until it is loose and crumbly. Place some of the soil into the center of the hole in a mound for bare-root trees. Place the bare-root tree into the hole with the roots spread evenly around the soil mound. Remove container trees from their containers, and synthetic burlap and wires from balled and burlapped trees. Natural burlap may be loosened at the top, pulled down from the sides of the rootball and left in the bottom of the hole.

  7. 7. Trim the Roots

    Cut encircling roots at their base, using a sharp knife or hand pruners, if they are found growing around the outside of the root mass. Make four 1-inch deep slices in the root mass from top to bottom spaced evenly around the outside. Place container-grown or balled and burlapped trees in the center of the hole.

  8. 8. Backfill and Water

    Push the loosened backfill soil back into the hole, distributed evenly around the root mass. Confirm that the top of the root mass or soil line on bare-root trees is 2 inches above the soil line after the hole is filled. Settle the soil by pushing the tip of the dirt shovel into the backfill soil 20 to 30 times, being careful not to injure the roots. Pour 10 to 20 gallons of water over the backfill soil to encourage settling. Add more backfill soil, if necessary.

  9. 9. Apply Organic Mulch

    Spread organic mulch to a depth of 4 inches over the backfill soil. Place only a very light layer of mulch or none at all directly over the root mass. Do not place mulch against the tree trunk. Pile the mulch so that it slopes naturally down toward the root mass. Water the tree as often as necessary to keep the soil moist, but not muddy for the first two years.

    Things You Will Need


  • Missouri Botanical Garden: X Cuprocyparis Leylandii
  • North Carolina State University Extension: Leyland Cypress

Writer Bio

Reannan Raine worked for 30 years in the non-profit sector in various positions. She recently became a licensed insurance agent but has decided to pursue a writing career instead. Ms. Raine is hoping to have her first novel published soon.

Leyland Cypress, X Cupressus leylandii Tolerant, inexpensive to produce and very fast growing: an ideal plant for the impatient. However, the planting of leyland cypresses in hedges is being questioned today in favor of mixed or free hedges.

Article content:

  • Botany
  • Plant and grow
  • Description Leyland Cypress

    Flowering period: from March to April

    Flower color: Green

    Plant type: coniferous

    Type of vegetation: shrub

    Type of foliage: Persistent

    Height: to 30 to 30 to 30 to 30 to 30 to 30 to 30 to 30 to 30 to 30 m

    Plant and grow

    hardiness: very cold hardy down to -21°C

    exposure: sun to partial shade

    Soil type: Cupressus macrocarpa , It belongs to the Cupressaceae family. Very vigorously, when leylands appeared, they quickly became the main type of hedges. Tolerant, inexpensive to produce and very fast growing: an ideal plant for the impatient. However, the planting of Leyland cypresses in hedges is being questioned today in favor of mixed or free hedges.

    Description Leyland Cypress

    Leyland are large conifers, tall and narrow, up to 30 m tall if not pruned. Their growth is very fast: in rich soil it rises by 9m for 10 years!

    Their dark green outline is flattened stems with dense, dense, widely branched scales, creating an opaque, thick screen from bottom to top until the branches are rejuvenated each year. The flowers are hardly noticeable, the pollen is quite productive, sometimes allergenic; the fruits are small and green and contain viable seeds.

    Plant Leylands cypresses

    Leylands are transplanted into the garden from October to November or in March-April if it does not freeze too much. They are planted in a flask 3-4 times larger than the root mass in a mixture of garden soil and planting soil, then watered and planted, especially in a windy situation.

    They are very rustic and use almost all slightly rich soils. They are even splash resistant. After a recovery stage sometimes a bit delicate, they begin to grow about 60 cm per year.

    Leylands can be used as a landscape tree, quickly bringing the tall silhouette into the garden, a bit too exposed; their columnar form does not have much of a trace. But they are very often used in specific mono hedging, forming a very uniform green screen. To do this, they are spaced from 80 to 100 cm.

    Leyland hedge size

    To stay beautiful, the Leyland hedge needs to be trimmed twice a year (3 times for the most demanding growers): a spring pruning that rejuvenates the branches and promotes new foliage. And a size in August that won't let your Leylands grow too fast.

    The size should always be light in color and should not extend to non-green branches. A hedge that is too tall, uncut for several years in a row, cannot be cut much, you will have a terrible result.

    Why are hedges no longer recommended?

    • The disease that causes the spread of cypress from the United States is transmitted to all cypress trees: the very numerous hedgerows of Leyland create a network throughout France that allows insects to spread this incurable cryptogamous disease; some branches of the leyland turn brown and dry, and then the whole tree succumbs to them. On the hedge, the disease is transmitted from one tree to another. There is no other solution than to replace hedging.

    • Fields require important care: 2 sizes per year. It is imperative not to be overwhelmed by their growth.

    • Their dark green screen is rather sad compared to many other more biodiversity friendly flowering shrubs.

    • Softwood hedges have been shown not to be the best windbreaks: they create turbulence rather than slowing down wind as is the case with less opaque hedges.

    Cupress species and varieties

    Cupressus genus includes more than 20 species

    • X Cupressocyparis Leylandii 'Castlewellan Gold'

    Leylandi, cypress hedge: characteristics and care

    If you have a large garden and want to create separate areas in it, you can use those species that work like a screen. Tall hedges are ideal for creating a border with the outside world. Their framing makes them ideal for use in hedges as they provide the privacy you need while effectively overlapping borders.

    There are many types of tall hedges, but today we dedicate ourselves to Leilandi, as meets various conditions to become the perfect screen. But before we start with the information, here is some general information.


    • 1 General information about Lelandi
    • 2 Descriptions
      • 2.1 Virtues of Lelandi
    • 3 Cultivo
    • 4 Plagules and Diseases
    • 5 Care

    General information about Leylandi

    Evergreens can be an important species in the home garden, providing green color and shade throughout the year.

    El x Cupressocyparis leylandii It is better known as Leylandi, Leylandi or Leyland Cypress. This is a fast growing coniferous tree. , so it becomes a very interesting option for covering large areas.

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    Leyland cypress ( x Cupressocyparis leylandii ) is an evergreen tree which can be a useful large specimen of or works well as part of a plant net, hedge or windbreaker.

    Leylandi is a species that grows in moist, fertile and well-drained soils in full sun. Resistant to a wide variety of soils. , including relatively skinny ones, adapts well to pruning and shearing. The produced seeds are viable but may not match the parent plant.

    A fact that goes unnoticed by the vast majority and causes confusion for some is that Leyland Cypress is the result of a cross between two trees that originate from the Pacific Ocean.

    These trees are Monterey cypress and Alaska cedar, although the latter is also often referred to as false Nootka cypress.


    This species belongs to the Cupressaceae family and is ideal for large gardens, since it must be taken into account that reaches a height of 20 to 25 meters and a diameter of 5 to 6 meters. . As a rule, it is planted together, although it can also be sown separately, especially if this is necessary in order to emphasize its beauty.

    Due to its structure it forms an ideal screen for plants, but it must also be taken into account that grows rapidly , a great advantage in the case of hedges, as it grows by about one to two meters per year.

    However, this rapid growth also has certain drawbacks both in terms of care and size, as it is a species that will be limited to large gardens.

    An important fact or fact should be highlighted, namely that the plant or species itself managed to inherit certain characteristics from its father. This is the case with its habitat, but also with the foliage of the plant itself and its great winter hardiness.

    In the same way, it also manages to acquire traits such as a unique branching pattern and an accelerated growth rate. As for the foliage, it consists of smooth pointed leaves. in flattened twigs, dark blue-green when mature, pale green when young.

    Virtues Leylandi

    There are many varieties of Leylandi, although any of them can be used as a screen as they all have great stability and adaptability.

    This species is undemanding, adapts to all types of soil, is rustic and is therefore the most popular living plant in Spain. Also is adapted to the severe cold climate of and it is even possible that it grows in areas near the sea.

    Pruning is not a problem and adapts to them without problems, although beware of attack by fungi and mealybugs, which often attack him.


    Leyland cypress Grows best in sunny areas. Although this does not mean that you can keep the plant in a place where during the day it gets a changing shade. However, we recommend that you do not place it where it is completely or completely shaded.

    The best time for planting is early spring. to give the tree a full growing season before the onset of winter cold.

    When several trees are planted in a group, leave a distance of 2 to 3 meters between them so that they do not accumulate when they reach maturity. Although this is an aspect that will depend on each person and the live screen idea they have in mind.

    As for placing the plant in the substrate or soil, you will need to do this in a hole about twice the width of the root ball and to the same depth as in the container.

    Once this is done, proceed to fill the hole with soil in such a way that there are no air pockets around the roots. Try to compact the soil well and water the tree well.

    Leilandi has a naturally attractive shape and does not require regular pruning Although you can prune its branches or prune the whole tree a little to encourage the growth of dense branches and bushes.

    The best way to prevent such situations is place this plant in an area with good air circulation Remove debris from under the tree regularly and water only the root zone with a soak hose or drip irrigation system to keep the foliage dry.

    Plagues and diseases

    As we mentioned a moment ago, there are some problems that in most cases do not occur, but this does not mean that they cannot be. Thus, plague caterpillar sachet is the biggest cause of problems for this species.

    As soon as it settles and begins to feed, if the necessary measures are not taken in the first days, be sure that your plant or tree will be left without leaves in a very short time.

    In the same way, this species is prone to ulcers, the effects of which will be noticeable after a drought. That is, the ulcer will cause damage to the foliage.


    Leylandi has a reputation for low maintenance, adaptable to varying sun and soil conditions. They don't even need to be trimmed unless you want to achieve a certain constant height.

    these grow in full sunlight , at least six hours of direct sunlight without filters per day. They can also tolerate partial shade. The soil should be well-drained, but otherwise Leyland cypresses are picky.

    Water cypress deeply and irregularly Once a week, as the tree ages, you can water it less often.

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