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Leyland Cypress x Hesperotropsis leylandii

Previously known as:

  • x Cupressocyparis leylandii
  • x Cuprocyparis leylandii
Description

This plant is problematic and alternatives should be considered.  Please see the suggestions in the left-hand column.

The Leyland Cypress is a hybrid fast-growing, upright, needled evergreen tree.  In the early years, it can grow up to 3' per year and it grows well in a variety of soil types. The scaly reddish-brown bark displays attractive splays of gray-green needles. 

It works well as screening, hedge plant, or windbreak, but is severely pest and disease prone and must be pruned regularly to maintain a tidy appearance. With a symmetrical canopy and smooth outline, they will have identical crown forms.  The branches grow upright and do not droop.  This strong structure is resistant to breakage.  It also takes well to severe pruning, recovering nicely from severe topping.  

In the Piedmont and Costal Plain of NC, it is sometimes grown to be sold as Christmas trees.

Propagation can be accomplished from stem cuttings.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Leyland Cypress is prone to many treatable and untreatable problems. Bagworm is a serious issue, the bagworms can defoliate an entire tree in a matter of a few weeks.  It is also susceptible to canker and root rot, specifically Armillaria and Phytophthora root rots and Seiridium and Botryoshpaeria canker.  Canker typically affects a tree following a period of drought.  Both the root rots and cankers are uncurable.

Its viable seed may not be true to the mother plant.  

Foliage can cause skin irritation.  Wear gloves when handling.

Quick ID

  • Elongated spray
  • Concolorous spray
  • Branches & primary brackets have spiral twist
  • Leaves intermediate to scale-like

 

VIDEO Created by Homegrown featuring Jeff Owen, Area Extension Forestry Specialist for NC State Extension

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Eyes'
  • 'Castlewellan'
    More compact form with gold-tipped leaves.
  • 'Emerald Isle'
    Bright green foliage.
  • 'Golconda'
    Year round yellow-gold foliage.
  • 'Gold Nugget'
    Bright golden yellow foliage, compact form.
  • 'Gold Rider'
    Branchlets are yellow with green tips in winter, deeper yellow with dark yellow margins n summer.
  • 'Green Spire'
    Densely narrow columnar with rich green needles.
  • 'Haggerston Grey'
    More open habit with blue-green to grey-green foliage.
  • 'Irish Mint'
    Lighter green foliage, slower growing, superior root system.
  • 'Jubilee'
    Yellow sprays.
  • 'Leighton Green'
    Tall, columnar with a central leader and rich green foliage.
  • 'Naylor's Blue'
    Most open variety, loosely branched. Blue-reen foliage.
  • 'Rico' x Hesperotropsis leylandii 'Reco'
    Short form
  • 'Robinson's Gold'
    Bright gold-yellow to lemon-green foliage.
  • 'Silver Dust'
    Wide-spreading with blue-green foliage with white variegations.
  • 'Star Wars'
    Creamy-yellow sprays.
'Blue Eyes', 'Castlewellan', 'Emerald Isle', 'Golconda', 'Gold Nugget', 'Gold Rider', 'Green Spire', 'Haggerston Grey', 'Irish Mint', 'Jubilee', 'Leighton Green', 'Naylor's Blue', 'Rico', 'Robinson's Gold', 'Silver Dust', 'Star Wars'
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#needles#cones#conifer#fragrant leaves#salt tolerant#showy leaves#winter interest#windbreak#upright form#playground#hedges#salt spray tolerant#cpp#buffer#needled evergreen#children's garden#needled#acidic soil tolerant#screening#fantz#gray-green leaves#sandy soils tolerant#winter garden#Christmas tree#Christmas decorations#fruits winter#christmas#pruning tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Eyes'
  • 'Castlewellan'
    More compact form with gold-tipped leaves.
  • 'Emerald Isle'
    Bright green foliage.
  • 'Golconda'
    Year round yellow-gold foliage.
  • 'Gold Nugget'
    Bright golden yellow foliage, compact form.
  • 'Gold Rider'
    Branchlets are yellow with green tips in winter, deeper yellow with dark yellow margins n summer.
  • 'Green Spire'
    Densely narrow columnar with rich green needles.
  • 'Haggerston Grey'
    More open habit with blue-green to grey-green foliage.
  • 'Irish Mint'
    Lighter green foliage, slower growing, superior root system.
  • 'Jubilee'
    Yellow sprays.
  • 'Leighton Green'
    Tall, columnar with a central leader and rich green foliage.
  • 'Naylor's Blue'
    Most open variety, loosely branched. Blue-reen foliage.
  • 'Rico' x Hesperotropsis leylandii 'Reco'
    Short form
  • 'Robinson's Gold'
    Bright gold-yellow to lemon-green foliage.
  • 'Silver Dust'
    Wide-spreading with blue-green foliage with white variegations.
  • 'Star Wars'
    Creamy-yellow sprays.
'Blue Eyes', 'Castlewellan', 'Emerald Isle', 'Golconda', 'Gold Nugget', 'Gold Rider', 'Green Spire', 'Haggerston Grey', 'Irish Mint', 'Jubilee', 'Leighton Green', 'Naylor's Blue', 'Rico', 'Robinson's Gold', 'Silver Dust', 'Star Wars'
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#needles#cones#conifer#fragrant leaves#salt tolerant#showy leaves#winter interest#windbreak#upright form#playground#hedges#salt spray tolerant#cpp#buffer#needled evergreen#children's garden#needled#acidic soil tolerant#screening#fantz#gray-green leaves#sandy soils tolerant#winter garden#Christmas tree#Christmas decorations#fruits winter#christmas#pruning tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    x Hesperotropsis
    Species:
    leylandii
    Family:
    Cupressaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    England
    Wildlife Value:
    Provides winter cover for song and game birds.
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Fragrance
    Pieces Used in Games
    Screening
    Textural
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wind Break
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    drought; many soils
    Dimensions:
    Height: 60 ft. 0 in. - 70 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Broad
    Columnar
    Erect
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    It Features dark brown fruiting cones (to 3/4” across), each with 8 scales.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    Non-flowering.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The foliage are scale leaves up to 2" long, elongated spray, bluish-green, same color top and bottom. The foliage is composed of soft. pointed leaves on flattened branchlets. They are a soft green when young and will mature to a dark blue-green.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Light Brown
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Scaly
    Bark Description:
    Scaly reddish-brown bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Salt
    Problems:
    Frequent Disease Problems