Cupressus, Leyland Cypress

Cupressus leylandii

Family: Cupressaceae (koo-press-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cupressus (koo-PRESS-us) (Info)
Species: leylandii (lay-LAN-dee-eye) (Info)
Synonym:Cupressus x leylandii
View this plant in a garden




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:



over 40 ft. (12 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Dothan, Alabama

New Market, Alabama

Prescott, Arizona

Alta Loma, California

Jacksonville, Florida

Trenton, Florida

Marietta, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Louisville, Kentucky

West Friendship, Maryland

Lakeville, Massachusetts

O Fallon, Missouri

Saint James, Missouri

Springfield, Missouri

Howell, New Jersey

Montclair, New Jersey

Ocean View, New Jersey

Lansing, North Carolina

Bandon, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Schwenksville, Pennsylvania

Greenville, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Cordova, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee(2 reports)

El Paso, Texas

Longview, Texas

Red Oak, Texas

Saint George, Utah

Lexington, Virginia

Lynchburg, Virginia

Roanoke, Virginia

Everett, Washington

Grand Mound, Washington

Rochester, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 21, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

About 12 years ago, my sister-in-law on Long Island planted a row of Leyland cypresses on her small lot as a quick screen for a neighbor's eyesore. They've now outgrown their usefulness---they're 30' tall and still growing, despite having been topped a few years ago. Their lowest branches are getting shaded and thinning out, and their thirsty roots are outcompeting the other plants in her garden.

The problem with planting a quick-growing screen is that, before you know it, it's outgrown its usefulness, and taking it out involves more labor and expense than you'd have believed.

This is a tree that gardeners love to hate in the UK, where it has long been overplanted. In the US, it didn't hit the national market till the 1990's, so people whose neighbors planted ... read more


On Dec 21, 2014, Argony from Alta Loma, CA wrote:

These can be horrible trees with invasive roots. If you have 10 acres and want a screen, fine, but don't plant them anywhere near fences, structures, patios, etc. Years ago my neighbor planted several of these trees along the property line of our small lots. Now the roots are strangling everything within 10 feet and the trees are not pleasant to look at. In fact, they make me angry. We will have to go to court over this. If you have to have this tree, plant it 20 feet away from everything.


On Jan 23, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is hybrid between the Monterey Cypress of central California X the Nootka or Alaska Falsecypress of the Pacific Northwest that occurred on an estate with a botanical collection in Wales in the late 1800's. I've never seen cones on it, but it is said it can bear them. It grows very fast of about 2 to 3 ft/yr. It is over-planted in Delaware and lots in se PA. Some die from canker diseases brought on from drought or other stress, and if the soil stays too wet they die from Phytophora Root Rot, but most are successful. In the mid-Atlantic they usually get about 25 to 35 ft high in landscapes. They are used a lot for evergreen screens. Single specimens often don't look great. The screen behind my yard has lost its lower branches because my ornamental trees have cast some shade upon their lo... read more


On Mar 1, 2010, purplesun from Krapets,
Bulgaria (Zone 8a) wrote:

This tree has been an amazing performer for me here. I grow it in a container on the roof of my garage and it went through its first winter as if nothing had happened. Temps dipped to -16 C, and even if its roots were frozen solid, it showed no sign of distress whatsoever. It still looks fresh and green.
It does need the additional water though. Apart from that no problems with this plant. And, it is an amazing grower.


On Jan 21, 2009, catcollins from West Friendship, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

When we bought our house, the previous owners had planted two screens of Leylands between both neighbor's houses. The one on the south side was planted with a reasonable spacing of 8'. However the line planted on the north side (apparently planted later by another family) are just 3-4' apart. Please don't do that!!! We had to dig up and give away every other tree in the front yard when the trees where 8' tall and it was a huge amount of work (4 trees). They did transfer just fine, however. The ones in the back yard have yet to be thinned and I'm dreading having to take ten trees out. These we have to just chop down and it makes me mad! They grow really fast, and you don't need to plant them so close together.

They do have shallow roots, and at about 8' can really ben... read more


On May 31, 2008, jengamom from Lakeville, MA wrote:

I have heard that this plant has shallow roots. I planted 4 of them in loamy soil about 3 years ago and they are still staked because when we have a lot of rain and wind in the spring they start to keel over. However, the 2 I planted in more compact soil have thus far stood up to the elements without being staked.


On Oct 6, 2006, katrinas from Redondo Beach, CA (Zone 11) wrote:

Here in CA the tree is used for a quick screen; however, the plant is known to get Coryneum, a canker fungus. There isn't a cure for the disease and it can be passed to near by trees of the same type. Cleaning your pruning blades with a bleach solution between each cut will only delay the spread of the disease/death of the plant(s). If the plant lives longer then you are fortunate to not have the disease in your area.

This plant has it place in the landscape, but it could be short lived in some regions.


On Jan 18, 2006, jamiecutts from Nottingham,
United Kingdom wrote:

Please, don't plant this tree unless you're really regular with trimming it, or you've got a big garden! It doesn't regenerate from old wood, so if your hedge gets too fat, you can't get it back to "civilised". The original tree is at Welshpool (England/Wales border), 120yrs old, 130 feet tall, and still going up. Here in England, it provides tree surgeons with a LOT of work, and most of us get to dislike it fairly quickly. When cutting/trimming it, wear long sleeves, 'cos the sap itches like crazy. As a standard, it's not as pretty as either of its parents (Nootka Cypress and Monterey Cypress).


On Dec 14, 2005, escambiaguy from Atmore, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Attractive they may be, they are overplanted in my area. Everytime I go into a garden center around here it seems thats all I see is Leyland Cypress.


On Oct 19, 2005, zemerson from Calvert County, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have many of these trees bordering my yard. Some have done beautifully and others have suddenly turned brown and died. I still don't know why. Possibly soil toxins or water ponding.


On Apr 16, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I, too, bought my Leyland Cypress as a 1 gallon potted living tree for my first Christmas in my house in 2002. It has survived and grown with little care and retains naturally a pleasing conical shape. I'm concerned that I might have to risk moving it if it continues to grow. It is now about 9 ft high and 4 ft in circumference and is situated at the edge of one of my garden paths. I plan to get at it soon with my electric hedge trimmers to top it out and trim it into a more compact conical topiary shape, as I have done in the past. These trees can apparently be trimmed at the branch tips without harm.


On Apr 15, 2005, nick89 from Tallahassee, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I purchased a scrawny sapling in a one-gallon pot from Lowe's five years ago. It is now over 10 feet tall and at least half as wide, taking up more than its alotted space. Although I knew it grew fast, the actual speed it grows at was beyond my expectations. Very popular in my area as a fast-growing screen.


On Dec 30, 2004, patp from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Beautiful, full, dark green foliage. It must love our SC clay soil and humid summers. Thrives in drought conditions, too.


On Dec 29, 2004, TREEHUGR from Now in Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Ditto. Same problem.
They seem to do ok here in the nursery so I'm assuming they don't like the soil here or the watering regimen (or lack thereof)


On Aug 17, 2004, deborahgrand from Baton Rouge, LA wrote:

This plant was sold as a "live Christmas tree" for use in BR, LA. It hasn't done well inside or out; shade or sun, heavy water or drought. I've read a lot of info that says they are supposed to be very hardy, but I've had nothing but grief with mine and have finally given up on it.