How to Transplant Leyland Cypress in the Spring Rather Than the Fall


Leyland cypress is a fast-growing evergreen tree with an attractive upright and soft pyramidal form. It is hardy in USDA zones 6 through 10a. According to North Dakota State University, all forms of the tree can be transplanted in early spring instead of the fall, before new growth appears. With its large, tall, upright form it is popular in large plantings as screening and hedging trees. It is also used and cultivated as a Christmas tree.

Step 1

Plant your tree in a site that will accommodate your Leyland cypress at its mature size as the tree is large and consistent pruning will be required over the life of the tree. Allow 50 feet in overhead clearance above ground level from structures, other trees and utility lines. Allow at least 15 feet and up to 25 feet in clearance around the trunk, from other trees and structures. The location should have full sun to partial afternoon shade exposure. The tree will grow best in northern climes with full sun but may benefit from and tolerate shade in warmer, drier, southern climates.

Step 2

Prepare a planting hole twice the diameter of the tree container and just as deep. Provide nutrient-rich but easy draining soil that has enough organic material to hold some water, while allowing excess water to drain away from the roots. The soil can be slightly acidic to slightly alkaline in pH.

Step 3

Slide the tree from its growing pot and set down into the hole. Turn the tree until you have its best side facing the direction the tree will be viewed from. Make sure the trunk is upright and perpendicular to the soil.

Step 4

Backfill the excavated soil around the root mass, pausing halfway to tamp down the soil and water deeply. Fill the remaining soil in around the root mass to secure the tree. Tamp down with your foot around the root ball to collapse any air pockets and secure the tree.

Step 5

Water well until the surrounding soil is drenched several inches down. Keep the soil moist at all times, particularly during the establishment period where the tree is sending out new roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel


  • University of Florida U.S. Forestry Service: Cypress Leylandii
  • North Dakota State University: Planitng Trees and Shrubs
Keywords: leyland cypress trees, spring planting evergreens, planting leyland cypress

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.