Leyland Cypress – Know What You’re Getting Into

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Leyland Cypress is a hybrid created between Cupressus macrocarpa and Chamaecyparis nootkatensis.    I promise that’s the last technical statement I’ll make.

Here’s the skinny on Leyland.  It’s basically a nice looking evergreen.  It’s hardy to Zone 6, which is our zone here in NJ.  Start heading north and its hardiness gets marginal.  Planted in the right conditions (sunny with well-drained soil) this plant will grow like a weed.

Even though there is an orchard ladder set up next to them, for the sake of all our readers I’ll state that these Leyland Cypress are being trimmed.  I remember driving by this house when the landscape contractor was installing this “grouping” of Leyland and thinking to myself, “Does this landscaper and homeowner know what they’re getting into?”  I’ll bet that was 6 or 7 years ago and I remember the trees being about 10′ tall.  I think you can see that these guys are now well over the 2nd story of this house – and that’s with being trimmed every year.  By the way, they’re no where near maturity.  In fact Leyland Cypress will easily get to 60 -70′ and then beyond.

leyland.crypress2In the picture to the right are Leylands that were planted a couple of years ago.  Would you believe this house is right across the street from the house in the picture above?  And by the looks of it they’re not even trimming them.

It’s like I always say, “Know your plants” and “Use the right plant in the right place”.  Leyland is not necessarily a bad plant.  It could have its use in a particular situation where you have tons of room and need a quick growing evergreen screen.  But here, in both these landscapes as corner groupings near the house?…not the best choice.

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