The Leyland cypress tree is a fast-growing evergreen that can reach mature heights up to 100 feet, though most average 50 feet. This popular conifer, commonly selected as a Christmas tree, grows in a pyramidal shape with dense foliage and no flowers. The foliage is simple and scale-like and grows in a bluish-green color. This tree requires very little maintenance and is ideal for the beginning grower.
Irrigate the Leyland cypress tree moderately and avoid overwatering. Water the tree at the same time that the surrounding grass is irrigated. Irrigate thoroughly and infrequently, as with the lawn, approximately once every seven days, using a slow irrigation process.
Remove needles and weeds from under the tree to reduce the potential for disease and eliminate competition. Hand-pull any weeds immediately. Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of the tree to protect the soil moisture and nutrients.
Feed the Leyland cypress a slow-release fertilizer such as a 10-10-10, 10-8-6 or 25-1-2 combination. Apply the fertilizer application in the early spring and again in the midsummer. Avoid fall applications to allow new growth enough time to harden before the winter months.
Prune Leyland cypress trees only as required to control size and maintain health. Always trim away dead or dying areas. Avoid excessive pruning to prevent growth stunt and disease potential. Trim any dead branches from the tree, using an angular cut to promote rapid healing.
Inspect the Leyland cypress tree regularly for signs of disease and infestation. Look for symptoms such as wilting or browning of needles, yellowing or browning of needles and needle blight. Treat diseases immediately to prevent severe injury, using a fungicidal or bactericide spray designed for the tree's symptoms. Treat the Leyland cypress tree annually with an insecticidal spray to prevent infestations and resulting disease.