The Leyland Cypress tree is a fast growing evergreen that reaches a height up to 50 feet. The tree forms a column shape when pruned and pyramid shape when left to grow naturally. Leyland Cypress trees are hardy to plant in USDA growing zones 6 through 10 and should be planted approximately 6 weeks prior to the first fall frost.
Select a planting location for the Leyland Cypress that has a well draining soil, such as a sandy loam. The site must also have full sun to part shade light conditions and protection from wind. Test the soil pH prior to planting as the Leyland Cypress prefers to grow in soil with a pH of 5.0 to 8.0. Amend the soil with ground rock sulfur to lower the pH number if needed.
How to Plant
Plant the Leyland Cypress tree immediately after purchasing to prevent the roots from drying out. Place the tree in a shaded location while preparing the planting area. Dig a hole that is the same depth and twice the width of the root ball. Amend the removed soil to increase moisture retention by mixing it with equal portions of organic compost. Place the tree in the hole and spread the roots in the open space. Fill amended soil around the root ball and gently pack in place to remove air pockets. Water the tree well to compact the soil around the root ball. Space the Leyland Cypress trees at a distance of six feet or more apart.
Care and Maintenance
Water the Leyland Cypress tree two to three times a week after planting so the water absorbs to a depth of 10 inches or more. Deep watering promotes deep root growth in the tree. Continue to provide supplemental water to the tree during dry periods. Remove all weed growth around the base and apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch to control weed growth and increase moisture retention. Leave a 4-inch gap between the start of the mulch and trunk of the tree. Fertilize new trees one month after planting and established trees quarterly with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Prune Leyland Cypress trees by cutting back long side shoots in the spring.
Propagate Leyland Cypress tree by cutting semi-hardwood stem sections in mid-summer. Choose sections of new growth as they begin to mature and harden. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone and stick it in a tray filled with a well-draining rooting medium that is lightly moistened. Place the tray in a warm location that has indirect light conditions until roots are approximately one inch in length. Transplant the cuttings into individual growing containers and continue to grow them in a protected environment for the first growing season.
Monitor Leyland Cypress trees for the formation of a canker fungal disease. The tree will form a canker or protruding growth around the stem which cuts off nutrient flow throughout the tree. Remove and destroy the tree to prevent the fungus from spreading sa there is no treatment for canker infections. Prevent a canker infection by keeping the tree healthy with adequate fertilizer and water applications at ground level.