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
Anyone have any advice / experiences with their Leyland Cypress to
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.
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'.
Dieback caused by BOTRYOSPHAERIA DOTHIDEA is observed on trees
within the first several years in the landscape.
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.
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.
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.
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.
: 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
: 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.
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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.
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
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.
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?
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