The Tree Center

Leyland Cypress – The Best Privacy Tree?

September 16, 2014

Written by Siobhan Barton.
Leyland Cypress Hedged

Privacy trees have become some of the most popularly planted trees in the United States. These trees have growth properties, such as a fast growth rate or hedge-like quality that make them perfect for creating living walls. These natural fence structures act both to add beauty to the backyard and protect you and your family from unsightly sounds or prying eyes.

If privacy is your desire, look no further than the Leyland Cypress. These classic privacy trees offer both peace of mind and an attractive view. It is clear why these are the most popular privacy tree in the United States. The Leyland Cypress has all of the best qualities for a privacy tree. It is fast-growing, reaching between 3 and 5 feet of new growth every year. This means that the privacy wall of your dreams is only a few short seasons away instead of dozens. Fast-growth partners with an easy row plant. The tall height and narrow conical shape of the Leyland Cypress means that it grows well when planted adjacent to others within its species. Once planted, the row Leyland Cypress saplings will quickly grow to create a dense wall through which even the most intrusive neighbor or noise cannot penetrate.

It is astonishing to think that the Leyland Cypress provides all of these wonderful privacy screen treats while still remaining beautiful. The 40 to 60 foot tall tree produces feathery needles that point up and out. The pleasing conical shape of the Leyland Cypress also sets it apart from other trees. Evergreen, the Leyland Cypress keeps its leaves all year long on flattened branches. The leaves or needles turn green-blue when the Cypress matures, giving it an effervescent quality.

leyland-cypress

Even better? The Leyland Cypress is an easy tree to grow. First time planters will have no trouble finding soil in which the Cypress succeeds. Full sun means the Cypress will not dry out easily – in fact, the species is moderately drought resistant. This fantastic privacy tree is an excellent investment for homeowners looking for a fast-growing, healthy privacy screen.

Quick Tips                                                                                    

Enjoy some quick tips here. For more complete information, read about these hints in more detail below.

Sunlight – The Leyland Cypress prefers full sun, though some planters have found success in partial shade. Be sure the tree receives at least 5 hours of sunlight daily.

Soil – The adaptable Leyland Cypress prefers moist, well-drained soil of generally any pH or type. Since the Leyland Cypress is also drought-tolerant, dry soils can also work.

Water – The drought-tolerant Leyland Cypress grows best when offered an inch of water, either from the hose or the sky, a week. Although an irrigation system can be beneficial if planting a large privacy screen, it is not generally seen as a necessary step in the planting process.

Pruning – Pruning should occur in winter, while the tree is dormant only after it is established (3 years). Remove dead or diseased wood, and trim the tree to keep in a manageable size for you.

The Best Places to Plant the Leyland Cypress

Single Leyland CypressSo how do you create a living wall of Leyland Cypresses? The first step is to determine the location of the privacy screen. Generally, landscapers find that a privacy wall created of trees is most beneficial in blocking unsightly views, such as highways, decrepit neighbor’s homes or businesses; unwelcome sounds, such as cars, loud events, or busy streets; or weather-related heavy winds. Do you have to be next to highway to need a Leyland Cypress screen, though? Absolutely not.

The aesthetic appeal of the Leyland Cypress privacy wall makes it a popular choice even in quiet suburban or urban areas. Planted in rows, the Cypress is an attractive wall. You can also plant the Cypress as an accent evergreen, providing it its own individual yard placement. Whatever the reason, the first step is to find a place to plant your new tree.

In the United States, the Leyland Cypress prefers USDA Hardiness Zones 6 through 10, with the least success found by planters in the upper Midwest and upper central United States. The most northern regions of the Northeast are also not hospitable to the Leyland Cypress.

If you choose to plant a privacy screen, a level expanse of land should be located. This is most commonly on the perimeter of the property, though many gardeners have chosen the Leyland Cypress to create walls with the garden itself. Plant the individual saplings between 4 and 5 feet apart. Plant, water, and enjoy!

Leyland Cypress Growth Rate and Mature Height

The Leyland Cypress is one of the larger privacy trees, often reaching between 40 and 60 feet tall; however, some gardeners have planted Leyland Cypresses in such well-fertilized and well-drained areas their specimens have reached over 100 feet! The width of the Leyland Cypress is generally between 8 and 12 feet. A wide birth is needed on all sides of the Leyland Cypress.

The growth rate of the Leyland Cypress is what makes it such a poplar tree. While other tall privacy trees can take upward of 15 years to begin to offer true privacy, the Leyland Cypress will already be at a solitude creating height within just 5 years. The growth rate of the Cypress is between 3 and 5 feet a year!

Leyland Cypress Pests, Diseases, and Other Concerns

Your Leyland Cypress will be an adaptable and hardy little plant – well, big tree! Little affects the tree’s health and growth. Occasionally, some diseases, such as cankers, needle blight, and root rot can affect the health of your tree. The best policy is preventative. Simply ensure your tree receives enough sun, moderate amounts of water, and mulch or fertilizer in especially poor soil conditions. These simple steps can help stop diseases from taking hold.

Noteworthy Tips on the Leyland Cypress

Comments 2 comments

  1. June 30, 2017 by Alan

    I planted 25 Leyland Cypress trees a few years ago and they are now getting too tall. Can I top these trees without killing them, or hurting them in any way?
    If they can be topped, what is the best way and time of the year to do so?
    Thanks in advance for your help…

  2. April 19, 2020 by Joe LeBlanc

    Hello, we live in central southern New Hampshire and was inquisitive if the Leland Cypress would be vulnerable in this region of the USA?
    Middleton NH