How to Care for Young Leyland Cypress Trees


The average size of a mature Leyland cypress is between 70 and 80 feet tall and 20 feet wide. The young trees grow rapidly, up to 3 or 4 feet a year. A tree that grows this fast uses a lot of energy and normally will require a little extra care. Leyland cypress trees are used for windbreaks, screens, hedges and Christmas trees. The tree will tolerate many types of soil, slight drought and even salt spray, making for an excellent landscape tree just about anywhere in the yard. Leyland's are hardy with temperatures down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 1

Water a Leyland cypress to keep the soil moist for the first three months after planting. Then water when the top of the soil dries out; in the heat of the summer, this may be daily. Cut back water to once every other week in the winter.

Step 2

Place two or three wooden stakes 12 inches from the tree. Use cotton string and loosely tie the tree to the stakes. Leyland cypress trees sometimes grow too fast for the young roots to hold them up in a strong wind. Keep an eye on the string that it does not cut the bark.

Step 3

Apply a fertilizer such as fish emulsion in the spring, summer and fall of the trees first year. The young roots will be able to handle a balanced commercial fertilizer by the second year. Refer to the manufacturer's directions on the amount to apply.

Step 4

Place 1 inch of compost over the soil around the roots in the summer and water well to leech it in. This will help to keep the soil well draining and the roots of the young tree healthy.

Step 5

Prune the young tree to shape in the early spring or during the winter dormancy. Prune only during dry times. Cut out dead branches and broken limbs at the trunk. Prune out some crossing branches that stop air circulation to the center of the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden stakes
  • Cotton string
  • Compost
  • Fish emulsion
  • Pruning shears


  • SavA Tree: Leyland Cypress Tree
  • Cedar Hill Nursery: Leyland Cypress: X Cupressocyparis leylandii
  • Landscape America: Leyland Cypress
Keywords: Leyland cypress trees, growing Christmas trees, young tree care

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.