Seek input on Leyland Cypress

Hi,
I've decided on Leyland Cypress as a tall "living fence" privacy screen. I've noticed there are about 3 main varieties : green, blue, and yellow. Looks to me like the blue and green varieties are the most dense and best at screening completely.
Another concern is whether I can trust the picture of the mature tree that is attached to it, regarding how full the tree gets (having no holes to see through).
Anyone have any advice / experiences with their Leyland Cypress to relate ?
Thanks,
L
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I am in the minority, but I like them.
I've only ever planted the green ones.
They grow really, really fast and are quite beautiful. They will definitely solve your screening problems.
I've used them to provide fast effective screening from the beagles caged near my backyard fence in a previous residence, and to screen out a grouchy old neighbor ("protect" her from having to see/hear ME) in my new residence. Those planted 2 summers ago at 18" tall are now 8 feet tall.

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X CUPRESSOCYPARIS LEYLANDII is the quintessential overplanted screening evergreen. Having said that, when used in the right conditions, it can be a marvelous tree. IMHO, the 'right conditions' are: large growing area... sufficient headroom (no overhead wires, certainly no canopy trees above)... sufficient room for girth of the tree over time. Leyland Cypress will *easily* make 60 feet over time. They can grow to over 100 in optimum growing conditions. That's a big tree!
If planted about 10' apart on center, you will get a very nice wall o' foliage in just a few years time. They will grow 3' per year or more when young-- that fast top growth can lead to a certain instability in high winds as the foliage mass outstrips the anchoring root system in windy conditions.
Dirr writes that certain pests and diseases have surfaced since the use of this tree exploded exponentially: "Bagworms are a universal problem and Leyland Cypress attracts its share; recognition of the problem and immediate removal of the bags defuse the situation. The most significant problems are fungal and cankers caused by SEIRIDIUM CARDINALE, S. UNICORNE, and S. CUPRESSI have been identified. In North Carolina, S. UNICORNE has caused canker and twig dieback. Symptoms include gray discoloration at point of infection, resin oozing from cracks in the bark, dark brown to purplish patches on the bark, sunken cankers with raised margins, and yellow to brown discoloration of the foliage above the canker."
An excellent alternative to this tree is Thuja plicata 'Green Giant'. It has slightly-less fast growth habit and will ultimately make about 30-40'.
Dave
Dieback caused by BOTRYOSPHAERIA DOTHIDEA is observed on trees within the first several years in the landscape.

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Thanks for the replies. I'm still considering the LEyland, but am looking at blue spruce too, but the Blue S's are more expensive.
I am getting conflicting info (as I always do when researching anything) about the height of the mature "green" Leyland Cypress. I usually see 40 to 60 on the label on the tree, but yesterday I saw a label indicating 20 to 30, or 30 to 40, for a "green" LC. Actually, 30 to 40 would be preferable, for me.
As far as environment for my prospective LC's. they would be 8 to 10 feet apart (getting conflicting advice about how far apart to plant, whether tree-touching-tree is / is not a problem). They would be in full sun, and would be screening out a commercial nursery (how ironic, eh ?). The "nursery" land is used as a dump for the nursery owner's road paving business !! These trees will shade his property. The only view I will be "ruining" for the other neighbors will be their view of the dump, and, if the trees grow tall enough, their view of the horizon above the dump. I and my neighbors are in 3-story townhomes, so we have a bird's eye view of the dump, at this point.
I heard from a (different) local nursery that a lot of mature LC's were broken off during last winter here in Pa.
Yes , we have bagworms here too, so that will be a concern.
Decisions, decisions.... leaning towards planting the 40 to 60 ft "green" Leylands, and watching them grow, hoping for the best.
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I don't know where you are. In the west, you can plant California incense cedar, which also gets tall, but is slower growing than leyland cypress - something like a taller, prettier arborvitae - and one which doesn't get bent out of shape by snow storms. I'm not sure how well it grows in the east, if at all. Various types of Chaemacyperis are also pretty and can work as hedges - and different cultivars come in different heights, from 100 ft down to 10 feet. You might also consider a single tree that is more spreading - such as a deodar cedar. It would screen without being so dense.

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Their ultimate height depends on how close together you plant them. They won't grow as tall if the roots are competing because of close planting. " Touching" isn't a problem, you want them to do that, but not when you plant them. Planted 5 feet apart they'll touch in a couple of years, when they are about 8-10 feet tall.

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I would respectfully disgree, Betsy. If one planted Leylands 5' apart, the end result would be dieback on each tree's interior facing side of foliage, a higher likelihood of pests and diseases, and much short-lived trees.
Dave

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I've seen it done without that issue--have you seen this problem first hand?

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".........won't grow as tall if the roots are competing because of close planting........."
Sorry......... but they will still grow as tall, but they just wont have such thick trunks
--
David Hill
Abacus nurseries
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: Hi,
: I've decided on Leyland Cypress as a tall "living fence" privacy : screen. I've noticed there are about 3 main varieties : green, blue, and : yellow. Looks to me like the blue and green varieties are the most dense and : best at screening completely.
: Another concern is whether I can trust the picture of the mature tree that : is attached to it, regarding how full the tree gets (having no holes to see : through).
: Anyone have any advice / experiences with their Leyland Cypress to : relate ?
They will get very big, very fast. If you want to maintain them as a high hedge, they take considerable maintenance. Left unchecked and in a favorable climate, they grow huge, shading gardens, darkening horizons. They can end up making life gloomier fo you and possibly for your neighbors. Drive around town a look at the number of houses darkened by overgrown evergreens. There, but for the grace of regular hedge-trimming, go you in 10 years.
Before you plant any hedge, make sure you have sufficient space, especially width and overhead clearance. If you are planning to maintain it at a certain height, get a realistic idea of the maintenance requirements. Not everyone can manage their own tall hedge that requires working on a ladder with power tools, so you may need to budget for annual maintenance. Neglecting a high maintenance hedge does make it low maintenance :) but it's better to choose a plants for a low-maintenance hedge in the first place.
With Leyland Cypress and others screening plants that eventually get very tall, make sure you are planting well away from residences. Look ahead 10-15 years, will you eventually be shading your own house and garden space and/or that of your neighbors? Keep in mind that any hedge on a boundary between properties will add a burden of hedge maintenance for your neighbors, too.
-- Karen
The Garden Gate http://garden-gate.prairienet.org =================================================================="If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." ^and cats -- Cicero ==================================================================On the Web since 1994 Forbes Best of Web 2002
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Any other suggestions then for an evergreen privacy "border? I just put in a pool, and I've got a town ballfield (and large "buffer zone") to the East.
I was thinking of a mix of Hemlocks and Aborvite, but I'd like a number of different varieties of evergreen shrubs to keep things "interesting" (Some things that grow tall and skinny, tall and fat, dark green, maybe some yellow, light green, etc...)
I'm all for some Yew, but only if it's faster growing than usual.
TIA
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An excellent screening yew is Taxus x media 'Hicksii'.
Dave
wrote:

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You ay a tall screen, What is your idea of tall? Leylandii can reach a height of over 100ft.Of the 6 seedlings produced in Leighton Hall, Powys, Wales in 1870 one was measured in 1971 and was just over 100 ft and growing well They can.......if happy....put on 3ft to 4ft a year, and I have 3 trees, One green and the other 3 Variegated which at the age of around 13 years are well just over 49 ft. Here in the UK there is a very strong movement to ban the planting of Laylandii as they get out of hand so fast. They are often planted at 3ft spacing with the idea of making a 6 to 8ft hedge, then they don't get trimmed for a year or so and neighbours complain that they no longer have light. They should be clipped from an early age to thicken them and to hold the growth rate down a bit, remember they will grow sideways as well as up, and Nothing grows under them. One of the slowest growing of the family is Leylandii Castlewellan Gold. There are now around 14 different clones of Leylandii being grown in the UK. Just be very careful if you are thinking about planting them. By the way if you cut back into the old growth they don't regrow and you are left with a horrible looking mess.
--
David Hill
Abacus nurseries
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Karen Fletcher wrote:

Or don't top.

from unshaded sodium security lights

If your neighbors are commercial, and you have a choice between the subsequent eyesore or a high LC hedge? If you'll probably sell in ten years, and need something tall, something FAST, until then?
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My neighbour planted leylandii. It now needs cutting twice a year to keep it to 11 feet, which I need to pay for. He planted it hard up against the boundary rather than leave access space to it on his side. So I can't build any sort of screen without giving up a strip of my garden. All of the plants along the base suffer from trampling due to the cutting operation.
As well as being dark green, Leylandii leaves don't reflect light. Deep shade persists at its base until mid afternoon. All of the shrubs that I grew previously along that boundary have died or are dying from starvation and light deficiency. I've had to move my greenhouse. We can now no longer see the sky from our living room. We now no longer sit out on that side of the house becase of the oppressive feel.
How about a nice beech hedge, planted so as to be fully maintainable from your property?
--
Richard L

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