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How to Plant Leyland Cypress Trees

By Sarah Terry ; Updated September 21, 2017
Shovel digging
bêche image by Claudio Calcagno from Fotolia.com

The Leyland cypress (X Cupressocyparis leylandii) is a fast-growing evergreen tree that can grow in many different soil types. Growing up to 70 feet with a 15- to 25-foot spread, the Leyland cypress has an upright, column or pyramid shape. You can plant individual Leyland cypress trees in your landscape or plant them in a row as a privacy screen or tall hedge. When they’re planted in a hedge form, Leyland cypress trees usually grow 20 to 30 feet tall and 6 feet wide. The Leyland cypress grows best in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 10, withstanding minimum winter temperatures down to about minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit and tolerating moderate drought.

Select a planting site for your Leyland cypress trees that is in full to partial sunlight. If you’re planting a hedge, space the trees about 6 feet apart in a row.

Dig a planting hole for your Leyland cypress tree that is about twice the width of the root ball or nursery container and the same depth. Loosen the soil around the walls and bottom of the planting hole.

Remove the Leyland cypress tree from the nursery container or burlap and loosen the outer roots gently. Set the root ball into the planting hole and ensure that the top of the root ball is about 1 inch above the ground surface.

Back fill the planting hole about halfway with the displaced soil. Water the soil in the planting hole to settle the soil around the roots.

Garden hose
hosepipe and tap image by david hughes from Fotolia.com

Back fill the rest of the planting hole with the displaced soil and water again deeply and thoroughly, soaking the soil to remove any air pockets around the Leyland cypress tree’s roots.

Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of bark mulch on the ground around the Leyland cypress, leaving about 3 to 6 inches around the trunk bare.


Things You Will Need

  • Leyland cypress trees
  • Shovel
  • Garden hose
  • Bark mulch


  • Water your Leyland cypress trees once each week during the first growing season when rainfall is less than 1/2 inch to help the roots become established. After the first year, water your Leyland cypress trees during the growing season only during times of drought or prolonged dry spells.


  • Avoid planting your Leyland cypress trees close to overhead power lines or other structures because these trees will grow tall very quickly.

About the Author


Sarah Terry brings over 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.