What Is a Cypress Tree

Leyland Cypress

One of the most popular trees for privacy, the Leyland Cypress is a beautiful, fast-growing evergreen that is great for solid, full coverage in large backyards. They have been known to reach heights of 50 feet in just 15 years. When planted in a row, they create an impenetrable mass of branches that make them great trees for screening wind, snow and even noise.

What You Need to Know
Height Range: 40-60 feet in rows, 70 feet alone
Width Range: 15-20 feet in rows, 30 feet alone
Sunlight: Full (6+ hours of direct sun per day)
Planting Guidelines: The Leyland Cypress can handle droughts, pests and even air pollution, and their high tolerance to salt makes them good privacy trees in coastal areas. However, due to their shallow root system, they are not well-adapted to hot summers and are susceptible to root rot, so they do best in large, well-drained yards with mild to moderate temperature highs.

The Benefits Of Having A Leyland Cypress

This tree grows well in all kinds of soil, in both full sun and light shade. Once established it is very drought tolerant, although some water during very dry periods is beneficial. It grows best in zones 6 to 8, although it will grow from zone 5 to zone 10. In colder areas, Thuja Green Giant is a better choice, and in very cold areas, Emerald Green Arborvitae is the top choice, growing well even in the coldest places. In very hot areas, choose Italian Cypress for the best results.


The need for screening is so common that many different plants are sold for this purpose. Most of them are fast growing, but some take longer to build a good screen, especially if height is an important consideration. This is certainly not true of the Leyland Cypress, and if speed is your priority, this is the evergreen screen to grow. In a few short years, you will have a magnificent hedge as tall as you need – a hedge that will be green all year round and create perfect privacy in your garden.

It can be clipped at almost any time of year to make a formal hedge, or left alone to grow into a windbreak. It does not shed leaves or fruit all over the garden and the foliage that does fall will lie underneath the plants and make mulch that slowly rots down back into the soil.

With a very fast growth rate, Leyland Cypress is the ideal choice for a foundation hedge along your property-line. Very soon you will have privacy and a screen against an ugly view. It is a very easy plant to trim, as the foliage is soft, fine and dense. You can quickly, easily and comfortably keep it neat, tidy and the height you want. It makes a beautiful formal hedge with regular shearing.

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