Leyland Cypress

  • Tree


  • Foliage



    • Latin (scientific) name: Cupressocyparis leylandii
    • Life expectancy: 20-25 years
    • Height: 70 feet
    • Circumference: 75 inches
    • Special characteristics:

      This is a hybrid evergreen tree. It is a tall, dense green foliage tree that can serve as a screen between you and your neighbors.

    • Annoyance factors:

      There are a number of problems with these trees, which should make homeowners think twice about planting them.

      First, they are prone to disease. Maladies like fungus and cankers make for dieback and unsightliness. They are also very sensitive to drought conditions.

      In storms, these trees tend to fall over; there is not always enough root structure to keep them erect when the wind comes up. Ice storms are awful for these trees, too; all that leaf surface for ice to build up on plus their height makes for lots of uprooting when they get loaded with ice. However, this is not a killer tree when it comes down. It’s too bushy and lacks a thick trunk.

      If the trees have been planted too close together, inevitably one or more will die. You’ll get some ugly gaps. The tree next to the fallen tree will be one-sided and ugly. You could remove that tree but the next tree will look just as bad. Before you know it, you’ve decided to remove them all. Oh well. Time to start all over again.

      For more information about problems with Leyland cypress, here is a pdffact sheet from Prestige Shrub and Tree, a local company which is very knowledgeable about this species and how to treat it.


    • Photo Credits:

      Tree: John Ruter, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
      Foliage: Peter Jenkins