The Leyland Cypress is a fast growing ever-green tree most commonly recognized for it’s thick, bushy fir and classical conical shape; it’s not hard to see why the Leyland Cypress is a popular choice around the holiday season. However, the Leyland Cypress also thrives in California’s Central Valley and has come to be very useful in other areas of horticulture. The Leyland Cypress has been shown to reduce allergenic symptoms when placed in a persons environment and are particularly durable trees which lend themselves to creating privacy in the home.
Seasonal information: Leyland Cypress is a rapid growing conifer averaging three or more feet per year. Its rapid growth makes this tree ideal for hedges, windbreaks, and Christmas tree production. Its overall vigor makes this tree very easy to grow all year round.
Location: Leyland Cypress 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. If you’re growing a hedge, a space of 8 to 10 feet between trees is ideal. It will take about five to seven years for the space between the trees to fill.
Planting instructions: To plant a Leyland Cypress, dig a planting hole twice the size of the root ball and as deep as the soil in the container. Scarify the sides of the planting hole with a pitchfork or shovel. Center the tree in the planting hole and backfill with soil. Create a watering ring around the perimeter of the planting hole (this helps divert water to the outer roots). Mulch with at least three inches of compost or pulverized bark.
Watering: Water your Leyland Cypress with at least an inch of water per week, keeping the soil moist to a depth of 18 inches. The deeper you water the tree, the better the tree will grow.
Fertilization: If your Leyland Cypress needs fertilizer at all, it should be fertilized with a shrub and tree fertilizer, unless a soil test shows that nutrients are low or missing. If the soil is missing or low on nutrients, use a nutrient-specific fertilizer.
Weed Control: In addition to the watering and fertilizing, it is important to keep your area weed-free, especially since weeds will steal moisture and nutrients. Keep your Leyland Cypress from becoming over populated by other plants and wildlfie underneath.
Pests and Disease: There are only four main diseases of Leyland Cypress, Seiridium canker or stem canker, causes branches and entire trees to die. Cercosporidium Blight is a very aggressive fungi and Cercosporidium usually attacks trees that have been stressed from shearing, drought, lack of fertilizer, and hot sun. It almost always starts on the sunny side of the tree. The last disease is Phytophthora root rot. This disease occurs with trees having poor drainage, or that have been over watered, and is not generally a large problem.
Pruning: These trees require very little pruning. You may want to consider pruning if you are using them as a hedge, however for the most part they require little to no pruning.
Pollination: Since it cannot reproduce itself, most Leyland cypress trees are produced through cuttings.