The Leyland cypress tree (Cupressocyparis leylandii) is a very attractive evergreen tree that grows best in the Southern half of the United States. It grows quickly when young, up to 3 feet per year, to a full height of 60 feet or more. The limbs remain full and green from the bottom of the pyramidal-shaped tree, creating an attractive shape. When mature, it has a width of 15 to 20 feet. The Leyland cypress will remain attractive for many years if planted correctly and given the right amount of care.
Plant the Leyland cypress in a well-drained location in average garden soil. Leyland cypress cannot sit in waterlogged soil for any length of time. The Leyland cypress is susceptible to a number of mildew or fungal diseases that are exacerbated by wet soil. The location should have full sun exposure and good air circulation to minimize disease problems. Full sun exposure is considered exposure to at least six hours of full sun each day.
It is best to plant a Leyland cypress during the late fall or winter when the tree is dormant to prevent transplant shock. Space Leyland cypress trees 10 feet apart. The foliage should not touch when the trees are mature to prevent disease from spreading from one tree to another.
Dig a hole to plant the Leyland cypress that is wide enough to easily accommodate the root base of the tree after it is removed from the container or dug from another location. Be sure the depth of the hole will allow the Leyland cypress to be planted at the same depth it was planted in the previous location or container.
Fill in the planting hole with the soil that was removed from the hole. Do not add any amendments such as peat moss or compost that prevents easy drainage of the soil. Add water to the soil as you place the soil back into the hole to prevent any air pockets from forming around the roots of the Leyland cypress.
Place a 2-inch layer of mulch over the root base of the Leyland cypress, but allow a 1-inch space to remain between the mulch and the tree to prevent mildew from spreading from the mulch to the tree.
Add water to the Leyland cypress tree when it is dry, soaking the soil to a depth of 18 inches. This is accomplished by allowing a stream of water the width of a pencil to run from the water hose for one hour over the base of the tree. Do not water more than every two weeks because the root base should dry out between watering.