Leylandii Hedge Guide


Golden Leylandii Hedge by Leonora Enking on Flickr
Golden Leylandii Hedging – source

It’s so tall, it causes tons of neighbourly nastiness – let’s find out about the fast growing Leyland Cypress!

Namecheck

  • Genus: Cupressus
  • Most common variety: Leyland Cypress (cupressus x leylandii)
  • Other popular varieties: Castwellian Gold

Characteristics

Did we mention it’s tall? If left unchecked this tree will grow to 30 feet in height in a decade and will carry on up to 75 feet – not an ideal urban environmental addition. However it’s a hardy evergreen tree that requires little attention and will form a dense barrier if kept in check.

Colour

Green, green, green. Different shades are available taking the green in golden and grey directions, but this is an evergreen tree and by definition it does not offer much variety.

Flowering

Alas the tree has no flowers in the strictest sense, but it produces small ball-shaped cones in clusters at the end of it’s branches.

Leylandii Cones

Fruiting

None per se. You cannot escape the fact that this tree has few merits, and alas it doesn’t even produce fruit, adding further insult to injury.

This sounds like a harsh statement but a Leylandii hedge is so fast growing that it causes many complaints when established in an urban context, so it should be grown with consideration.

Pruning

To keep these big boys in check, pruning this tree two times a year is recommended, ideally in late Spring and late Summer. Aim to keep the tree under 2m in height for your own best benefit, or if you have the space and want some dominant hedging for your estate, keep it to 3m tops, lest you lose your grip with this magnificent beast.

Propagation

All Leyland Cypress have to be propogated however this, much like the decision to plant them, should be given some proper thought. Mayhaps you should buy an established mini tree if you want to plant some more, as there are few special species that truly warrant particular propagation.

How To Plant a Leylandii Hedge

Short answer: with caution. If you want a high hedge and you are in a built up area, you are advised to consider an alternative hedge, as the growth of this plant and its impact on the immediate environment is considerable. It really might be more hassle than it is worth. In the UK a local Council can force you to trim a hedge that is over 2m in height if there is a complaint, and Leylandii can grow up to 1m a year, so before you know it, it will get the better of you.

Honestly. I’m not even going to tell you how to plant it. Just get a different tall hedge plant instead.

Threats

A Leylandii hedge is very hardy and can survive in most moderate climates. The bark can get brown patches which may be the onset of Kabatina Blight or caused by Cypress Aphid. If there is a significant infestation, you can address the issue, but the density of the tree, in combination with it’s adverse communal impact would lead to a logical decision to remove the tree and replace it with something less dominant.

Fun Facts About Leylandii

  • It is a hybrid of Monterey Cypress and Nootka Cypress.
  • The first plants were created in Wales in the late 1800s.
  • It is a sterile plant and cannot naturally reproduce.
  • Every Leylandii hedge is a cutting and has been intentionally planted.

Looking for Evergreen Hedge Plants?

Mr T

Just a guy trying to keep his hedges in good shape.

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