Leyland cypress is a fast-growing tree often used for screening in the home landscape. Well-suited for many growing conditions, it is easy to grow, especially when given proper culture. Key to the culture of Leyland cypress are good soil conditions which optimize fast growth and strong structure.
Proper soil conditions ensure that Leyland cypress will achieve maximum growth, full branching and structural strength. Good soil preparation ensures a deep, strong root structure, maximizing the chances that this often shallow-rooted tree stays firmly in place.
Leyland cypress is well-suited to many soil conditions, tolerating clay, sand and either alkaline or acidic soils. In loose soils, the tree will benefit from the addition of a clay-based topsoil. Leylands planted in heavier soils are more likely to stay in place during high winds than those planted in loose, sandy soils.
Leyland cypress' capacity to survive drought is good, but consistent moisture will produce a faster-growing plant. Sandy soils amended with compost will improve water retention. During dry spells, water deeply and less often, rather than shallowly and often, to promote deep root growth. Mulching retains moisture and shades roots.
Leyland cypress' need for nutrition is not great, but it still benefits from a light application of evergreen tree fertilizer in late fall to promote fast growth, good branching and strong root growth.
Mulch should be replenished each spring so soils do not dry out. Leaf mold or compost can be used as mulch to retain moisture and nourish trees as it breaks down.