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How to Transplant Leyland Cypress Trees

cypress image by Przemyslaw Malkowski from

Leyland cypress are evergreen trees with a Christmas tree-like appearance. Growing more than three feet a year in good soil, these trees can reach upwards of 40 feet. If you prefer them to stay low to the ground, trim them often and make them into hedges. Transplanting is best done in fall, and before they become too big to move. Once in the new location, treat the transplanted Leyland cypress as a newly planted young tree until its establishes new roots.

Transplant Leyland cypress at least two months before winter so it can adjust to the new surroundings and possibly grow a bit before winter. Once ground temperatures drop below 50 degrees F, the Leyland cypress will stop growing for the year.

Dig out a wide area around the tree to find the root system. Once you find the roots, start digging in a circle around the tree, going deeper as you get near the base to uncover the main tap root. Remove the tree from the ground.

Measure the depth and width of the root system. Dig a hole in the new location a little wider that the roots, but only as deep as the current rootball. You do not want to bury the tree deeper than it is accustomed or you could develop rot at the base.

Move the tree to its new location and fill in around the roots with dirt. Fill in all gaps so there are no air pockets. Pack the soil down firmly with your foot.

Stake the tree with twine and stakes to stabilize it until it grows. Leylands sometimes fall over in high winds or strong rains. Stakes will keep it upright until the roots establish.

Water the tree until the soil is damp. Be careful not to over-water or the soil will become too loose. Water two times a week for a few months, so the tree has time to anchor roots into the ground.

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