Filed under: Long--Range Planning, Plants to avoid. Tagged as: hedges, Leyland Cypress, privacy screens, x Cupressocyparis leylandii.
A dense evergreen as wide as your living room and six stories tall. That’s what you are committing to when you plant Leyland Cypress.
They are inexpensive. They are fast-growing. They are readily available at the big-box stores as well as specialty nurseries. So you buy a few to make a hedge and in a few short years you have created a nightmare.
Fifteen feet wide for an evergreen is different than fifteen feet wide for a deciduous tree. A deciduous tree will allow you to walk beneath it. An evergreen, such as a Leyland Cypress will not share the space with you. Are you willing to give up 177 square feet of your backyard for a single Leyland Cypress? If you plan a hedge, multiply by the number of trees you are planting.
They are very tall. Do you really need to screen an ugly view that is six stories tall? Well, you say, I’ll keep it pruned. If you do it yourself, that involves a very tall ladder and sticking to a schedule or this fast-growing tree will quickly get out of hand. If you pay a professional tree company, the expenses will quickly mount.
They are dense. No light comes through. The rooms of your house shaded by the Leyland Cypress will be permanently gloomy and dark. The part of your garden shaded by the Leyland Cypress will be permanently gloomy and dark. Not much will grow in competition with the shallow roots and deep shade. Is it worth it?
They are unfriendly. When you plant a Leyland Cypress, you are dooming your neighbor to the same pruning work and looming darkness—and they didn’t even have a say in the matter.
So, gently set down that deceptively cute Christmas-tree-like Leyland Cypress you were about to put in your cart. Go home, measure your space, do your research, then go buy a different tree that you will make you happy for decades.