A fast-growing evergreen tree, the Leyland cypress (X Cupressocyparis leylandii) is an attractive landscape tree that grows 60 to 70 feet tall and 15 to 25 feet wide in a pyramidal shape. The Leyland cypress grows best in full sunlight exposure and in USDA Hardiness Zones 6 through 10, enjoying hotter summers and milder winters that don't experience temperatures colder than -5 degrees Fahrenheit. Leyland cypress trees can look very similar to other coniferous trees, but studying its leaves helps to make a positive identification of the correct tree species.
Notice the leaf type to identify the Leyland cypress. This tree has scale-like foliage that's evergreen and has needles in flattened sprays of "branchlets" along the stems.
Identify Leyland cypress leaves by how they're arranged on the stems. Leyland cypress trees have needle-like leaves that are arranged opposite each other in pairs along the stems.
Look at the color to spot Leyland cypress leaves. Leyland cypress trees have soft-green needle leaves that turn bluish-green to dark blue-green as the tree matures.
Study the length of the scale-like leaves. Leyland cypress trees have leaves that are less than 2 inches long, fine and feathery with pointed needles.