Leyland Cypress Planting Directions


The Leyland cypress is a large tree--too large for many landscapes, in fact--averaging between 50 to 70 feet tall with a 20-foot spread. The tree is fast-growing--creating a quick screen, windbreak or hedge row--but maintenance can be challenging. It is a lower-maintenance tree, though, when planted in a large open area where it does not need to be pruned to fit into a small area. Because Leylands can grow 3 feet per year when they are young, they are commercially grown as Christmas trees. The Leyland cypress is hardy to USDA planting zone 6.

Step 1

Choose a location that has full sun and no other plants around it that cannot live in shade. The mature height should be considered for planting near power lines and buildings. The area should drain well, although the tree will withstand a wet area occasionally. Plan on planting the tree in early spring.

Step 2

Dig a hole three times the diameter and the same depth of the root ball of the tree. Clean the soil of all weeds, grass and stones. Amend the dug-out soil with one part compost to three parts original soil.

Step 3

Carefully remove the tree from the container or burlap and gently spread out the roots. Place the tree in the planting hole and fill half way with amended soil. Place water in the hole to compact the soil around the roots. Continue to fill the hole with soil until it is level with the surrounding ground. Tamp down firmly with your foot.

Step 4

Water the tree to the depth of the roots immediately after planting. Keep the soil evenly moist for the next 2 weeks, then cut back watering to once every other week unless the weather becomes very hot or dry. Once the tree is established, it is very drought tolerant.

Step 5

Stake the young tree to keep the wind from blowing it over. The tree will grow so fast the root system will not catch up to it for several months. Use a loosely tied cotton string and watch that it does not become too tight as the tree grows. Remove when the tree is about 4 feet tall.

Step 6

Place a 2-inch layer of shredded pine bark mulch around the tree in a 6 foot diameter. Keep the mulch 6 inches away from the trunk of the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Stakes
  • Cotton string
  • Shredded pine bark mulch


  • North Carolina State University: Leyland Cypress
  • US Dept. of Agriculture: Leyland Cypress
  • Clemson Extension: Leyland Cypress
Keywords: planting Leyland cypress, growing Christmas trees, evergreen trees

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.