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Leyland Cypressx Cupressocyparis leylandii

  • Leyland Cypress - X Cupressocyparis leylandii
  • Leyland Cypress - X Cupressocyparis leylandii
  • Leyland Cypress - X 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 wind break as it provides a dense barrier with good color all 12 months of the year.

This sterile hybrid is produced in great numbers for use in Christmas tree plantations, in windbreaks and along boundary lines.  It also beautifies the landscape around homes, across campuses and in parks.

Hardiness Zones

The leyland cypress can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 6–10. View Map

Tree Type

This is an evergreen tree, keeping its foliage year-round.

Mature Size

The Leyland cypress grows to a height of 60–70' and a spread of 15–25' at maturity.

Growth Speed Fast Growth Rate

This tree grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least 6 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The Leyland cypress grows well in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained and clay soils.


This tree:
  • Features dark green to bluish-green, scale-like needles that are flattened on evergreen sprays, pointy at the tips but notably soft.
  • Produces small, globular cones that are ½–¾" in diameter and made up of 8 scales.
  • Is a popular choice for hedges and boundaries but requires annual pruning.
  • Can be pruned and shaped repeatedly without harm.
  • Grows in an oval or pyramidal shape if not pruned.

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.