cupressus x leylandii
The Leyland Cypress is a hybrid between the Alaskan Cypress and the Monterey Cypress. The hybrid cross occurred in 1888 and has been used in landscaping ever since. Leyland cypress has found wide popularity over a large range of the United States. It makes an excellent privacy screen, hedge, and windbreak as it provides a dense barrier with good color all year. Popular in the south as Christmas trees. Can potentially live a century or more. Many cultivars are available.
Culture for Leyland Cypress
Leyland cypress trees grow best in zones 6-10. Grows well in a wide variety of soil and climate conditions. Growth is fast, up to 3 feet per year, and height can exceed 50 feet. Prefers full sun. Shallow rooted so potential for windthrow increases with size. Fairly tolerant of salt spray.
Concerns about Leyland Cypress
It will quickly outgrow its space in small landscapes and can be too large for most residential landscapes unless pruned back on a regular basis. Overcrowding leads to problems with poor air circulation, increasing the possibility of disease occurrence and shading out of lower branches. Excessive heat and drought can promote Seridium canker. Not adapted to poorly drained soils. Winter injury can occur on exposed sites in the north.
Management Practices for Leyland Cypress
Prune early and often to prevent it from getting too tall too quickly and overwhelming a landscape. Maintain plant health to prevent disease development. Remove any branches killed by fungi in order to prevent inoculum spreading from the cankered areas and thin canopy to improve light and air penetration.