Proper Care for Cypress Cedar Trees


The cypress cedar (xCupressocyparis leylandii) is a popular tree, especially in the southeastern United States, that can grow to 70 feet or taller. Commonly called the Leyland cypress, this evergreen is a hybrid of the Alaskan cedar and Monterey cypress trees. It is often used as a Christmas tree, or a privacy hedge. The cypress cedar tree is desirable for its fast growth, handsome, dark-green, needle-like foliage, and ease of care.

Step 1

Select a location for your cypress cedar tree that receives a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day. These trees thrive in full sunlight. Eight hours of sun exposure per day is best.

Step 2

Select a location that has rich, well-draining soil. While the hardy leyland cypress can adapt to just about any type of soil, including clay or salty soil, it prefers soil rich in organic matter and nutrients. If the soil is poor, work some organic mulch into the top 12 inches with a garden fork or spade before planting the tree.

Step 3

Water newly planted or young trees (2 years old or younger) two times a week during the growing season. Water with a slow stream for about 10 minutes. Established trees should be watered with a slow, steady stream of water once every two to three weeks in the summer.

Step 4

Fertilize the tree once in the spring and once in the fall with a slow-release, water-soluble fertilizer formulated for evergreen trees.

Step 5

Prune the tree each spring to keep the shape looking neat. Young trees will grow faster if the tips of the branches are pruned off. Prune away any drooping branches. Note that drooping branches can signify overwatering.

Tips and Warnings

  • Monitor for canker disease, which can kill this tree. Foliage will turn brown, and black, cracked areas will appear on the branches. If only one area of the tree is infected, you might be able to prune it off before it spreads. If the entire tree is infected, destroy the tree and remove it from the soil to prevent the spread of the disease.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Balanced, water-soluble evergreen fertilizer
  • Pruning tools


  • University of Florida: x Cupressocyparis leylandii: Leyland Cypress
  • Clemson University: Leyland Cypress

Who Can Help

  • North Carolina State Univesity: Disease of Leyland Cypress
Keywords: proper care for, Leyland Cypress, x Cupressocyparis leylandii

About this Author

April Sanders has been a writer and educator for 11 years. She is a published curriculum writer and has provided academic content for several subscription databases. Sanders holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology and a Master's degree in information sciences and technology.