The Leyland cypress | Cuprocyparis x leylandii

The Leyland cypress | Cuprocyparis x leylandii

The Leyland cypress

Author: Richard Tame

Cuprocyparis x leylandii (aka. Cupressocyparis leylandii)

The Leyland cypress, which is a hybrid of the Nootka cypress and Monterey Cypress, is perhaps one of the most well-known conifers grown in gardens. It is an extremely vigorous shrub, easily outgrowing a small garden in 20 years if left unchecked. However, with proper annual care, Leylandii make excellent dense hedges – ideal for blocking noise and pollution from busy roads. Another advantage is that Leylandii are not fussy about soil condition and will thrive in a range of positions, regardless of soil pH or salt spray, although as a general
rule very wet soils should be avoided. Most leylandii are tolerant down to temperatures around -10 ̊C, so can be grown throughout most of Britain. Due to its rampant growth (a Leyland cypress can manage an astonishing 3 feet of growth per year in good soils), the Leyland cypress often gets bad press, but with regular trimming it can be easily managed. Trim a Leyland hedge at least once a year (preferably more) in late spring/early summer, although take care not to cut back to brown wood as the tree cannot sprout from older wood.
Countless varieties exist, some of which are described in more detail below. A more comprehensive list of leylandii cypress sold at the arboretum can be found on the online shop. 

Castlewellan Gold

This variety has light green foliage with yellow-tinged tips. Makes good hedges.

Gold Rider 

Similar to Castlewellan Gold, with more of a yellow tinge. Makes good hedges. 

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