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Tree of the Week • Leyland Cypress

This tree provided winter cover for songbirds and game birds. Check out how tall these trees get!

Leyland Cypress

Cupressocyparis leylandii

Noted for its rapid growth and slender shape, the Leyland cypress has found wide popularity over a large range of the United States. It grows well in a wide variety of soil and climate conditions and makes an excellent windbreak as it provides a dense barrier with good color all 12 months of the year. It also beautifies the landscape around homes, across campuses, and in parks.

Hardiness Zones

The Leyland Cypress grows in zones 6-10.

Mature Size

This tree grows to a height of 60–70′ and a spread of 15–25′ at maturity.

Growth Speed Medium

Growth Rate

This tree grows at a rapid rate.

Sun Preference

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The leyland cypress grows in in acidic, alkaline, clay, drought-tolerant, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained soils.


This tree:

  • Is fast-growing
  • Provides excellent screen and windbreak
  • Features soft, feathery needles
  • Will be delivered at a height of 6″– 1′ for bare-root; a height of 10″- 1 1/2′ for 1-gallon pot

Wildlife Value

This tree provides negligible wildlife benefits, but it does provide winter cover for songbirds and game birds.


The Leyland Cypress tree is a natural hybrid that came about when a Monterey cypress accidentally crossbred with an Alaskacedar at England’s Leighton Hall in 1888. C. J. Leyland, brother-in-law of Leighton Hall’s owner at the time, planted seeds from the cones of an Alaskacedar that was fertilized by the Monterey cypress. This produced a tree that exhibited amazing growth rates, vigor and an attractive appearance.

The tree—named after the man who first planted its seed—has found wide popularity because of its legendary salt tolerance, thriving where many other trees will not grow. It has also spawned a wide variety of cultivars designed to enhance its natural beauty.


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