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planting distance for leland cypress

April 21, 2005

I've seen some leland cypress that are very wide and some that only grow the width of maybe a small juniper. What is a "normal" planting distance between the leland cypress?

Comments (33)

  • pineresin

    Preferably at least 500 miles apart . . .

    Depends on what size they are when you get them, and how fast you want them to form a solid barrier with no gaps between them.


    PS LeYland

  • koniferkid_nj

    I agree with Pineresin. I wanted to screen off a few neighbors- 5 years later a 1 gal. leyland turned into a 20+ foot tree.This was planted all by itself in a 15 foot wide area with no competition from other trees. In another area I planted 2 dozen all 3 feet apart about 3 years ago and these make a nice screen 10 feet high. They were all topped and are trimmed once a year. All were 1 gal. plants.
    I have found out Naylor's blue and Golconda are much slower than Leighton green. The Golconda's were planted 3 years ago[again 1gal.plants] and are 4 feet high while the Naylor's blue is 7 feet high and again 1 gal. plants. I would recommend plants which are small[1gal.] to start with as these will adapt much better to the growing conditions and for stabilization of the root system. Give them a couple of years and they will really take off.


  • Ron_B

    Habit varies with climate. The pyramidal ones are in different districts than the columnar ones. Here they grown pyramidal in Seattle, columnar in Woodinville, Newport Hills and North Tacoma.

    Like Michael, I was thinking the correct distance was whichever one put them off your property, preferably in a landfill. Apart from their aesthetic drawbacks, you may wish to check on the disease situation in your area before counting on these to provide a permanent feature.

  • mvoght

    I am in the process of planting a hedge of leyland cypress, white pines, and holly and emerald green arbovitae.

    I have a neighbor who hates that I've built my farm next to him, so I need a fast screen.

    I'm planting the rows, first one, 6' off the fence, tree every 12'. Next row, 12' off the fence, tree every 12' in the middle of the first row. Now that they are all in, I'm thinking I should have pulled the 2nd row in another 3', but we'll see how they do.

    I'm planting 2 leyland cypress, 1 other variety, and repeat the variations in both rows. The back row, I need to find white pines.

    I know the evergreen hedges aren't that gorgeous, but this will serve 2 purposes, provide a windbreak in my riding arena and provide me privacy from them staring at me.

    I may decide to toss in a few more varieties of evergreens, I have a couple of dwarf blue spruce, but they are too small. I'm already worried that the arborvitae will be to narrow. The hollies are lovely and I wish I could have afforded more.

    I still have 14 plants left to buy for the primary "hedge", if I wanted to mix in something besides white pine, stay in a budget (I'd like to stay under $30/tree) what other varieties would you guys suggest.


    p.s. My first post here, I usually am on the building a home forum, but now it is done and I'm moving onto planting.

  • pittypatt

    I also have a neighbor "problem" so needed a fast screen. First i tried hemlock- no sucess- they died- but now have Leyland Cypress. They are doing great. I planted 5 ft apart since I want them THICK! I got 1gal. pots of them- they are about 3 ft tall.

  • mvoght


    My problem neighbors also planted some about 5' apart, but they will not be healthy. While I want a relatively quick screen, I also don't want to cut down trees in 5 years.

    We'll see how things mature.


  • tronmom

    I have stumbled upon your site and I just wanted to let you know what I have. I have 22 Leyland Cypress trees I planted for a hedge and to stop the bitter cold/snow coming towards our children's rooms and they said to plant them 8 feet apart from each other because they have an 8 foot width (at least what I have and ever have seen). We bought them in GA, but we live in TN. They are perfectly 8 foot and growing tremendously high. I've been told they can be cut at the top and it will stop the growth upwards, but I have not tried that.

    I have to say I'm very proud of them just because my husband was gone when I planted them all in one day with a 1.5 old and 3.5 old at the time. My father in law came over by surprise and set my holes every 8 feet with string & wood steaks with my help of course and the next day I planted them. My trees were only 3 feet and 6 years later they are absolutely huge. They are just touching each other right now.

    I hope that helps.


  • pineresin

    "I've been told they can be cut at the top and it will stop the growth upwards"

    It won't. They'll start growing upward again immediately after, just as fast as before, but this time untidily with several leaders instead of a single stem. These new leaders are only weakly attached to the original trunk, so are very liable to break in storms or snow cover. I've seen no end of half-leylands come crashing down where forked stems resulting from past pruning have split.


  • spruceman

    I agree with Resin--at least 500 miles apart. I don't think these are the most attractive trees--I have never been able to see, at least in the typical ones I see everywhere, that they have any "tree shape" that my eye can grasp. But if the main point is just to greate a live physical obstruction, ....


  • crbuhian

    I want to plant 10 Leyland Cypresses in my backyard for FAST privacy. However, I have a very limited space in the back that I don't want the trees' to exceed 6ft. in width. I heard planting them 6 feet apart in a row will help limit their width. Please advise before I go and buy these trees.

  • pineresin

    Definitely not Leylands if you have limited space!


  • pitt45_hotmial_com

    >>Definitely not Leylands if you have limited space!
    ResinWhat woul be a good thing to plant for a visual break from backdoor neighbor in Tennessee. About 12 to 15 feet wide about 40 yrds from house.

    Thank Mark

  • theonlyroscoe

    My Leyland Cypress are a disaster. I have 14 in a row on the West side of my home and many have died, I have just replaced two more that died last winter. They died after turning brown on the bottom then the bottome dried up. Moreover they have not even grown a little, while most have been replaced there are a few from the original planting. The two new plantings look dark green and taller than the originals, the orininals have not grown an inch as far as I can tell and are a much lighter green, even a yellowish green. I have even tried Miracir in hopes of greening them up!
    The Leyland Cypress seem to flurish here in Florida but not mine...Please help.

  • in ny zone5

    I am on the receiving side of neighbor's 20 ft tall, 8 ft wide Leyland or arborvitas, planted 1 ft off the property line. It is nice to read here that people plant 6 ft away from the property line! I am pruning those large soft branches so I can continue mowing my property easily. In snow they easily shed and break branches and I prune those on my side. At the time of former neighbor's planting I did not understand what the future would be.

  • hogmanay

    I went with Thuja occidentalis to provide a screen hedge, and they are about 3' apart. We'll see. They were planted as 12" bare root.

    On the other side of that, I planted two Thuja standishii x plicata 'Green Giant' (from Arbor Day Foundation) about 5' apart.

    I'll just sit back and watch for a few years to see what happens. It's just to hide where I park my Jeep since it is often rather muddy.

  • theonlyroscoe

    My Leland Cypress continue to die and I continue to replace them. I have fed them with a mild fertilizer, milorganite, and watered them reasonably, yet they die. I have one that has been in the ground only a couple of months and it is showing signs of browning out as well. I bought them from Lowe's and they looked healthy and vigorous in the store, yet I have probably replaced each plant at least once and a few more. I am a sucker for punishment, but I am having no luck with these. I refuse to throw in the towel as I have a small fortune involved (just kidding) but by now there is probable $1000.00 involved and I am in a quandary. Please Help!!! My email is (daclark 56@hotmail.com) without the space, please feel free to email me if you have any ideas that can possibly help. Thank you all in advance.

    Dale in Palm Bay

  • memazurek50_comcast_net

    If I plant Leyland trees next to my pool will the water sprayed from the pool cleaner kill them or make them turn

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    all the negative comments here on lelands ... and you want to push the envelope on putting it next to a salt water pond .... hmmmm ...

    why do the plants have to be so close to the pool that they get splashed???? and if there is that little space.. i would suggest a plastic fence ....


  • scotjute Z8

    My wife has some on two sides of the house planted about 5 yrs ago that are 6 ft. apart. That appears to be too close, twelve foot apart would have been better. They seem to have limited ability to resist drought, and hence the farther apart the better in this area.

  • tpalm

    Heres a positive message about Leyland Cypress. I bought 50 1gal about 10 years ago for $1 each at a nursery that was going out of business. They were planted a little high mostly in compacted clay/sand. I did very little in the way of soil prep. They were planted 10 feet apart and only got a little miracle grow the first couple of years. 10 years later,95% of them are 20 feet high and filled in perfectly.The filling in started at 2 to 3 years. I have only lost 1 and one is not so great because of shade.
    The only browning problems I have seen come from Bagworms(look for coocoons) they can kill a large tree in 2 years or less if left untreated and will turn it brown. I never water mine since the first year. We have had several summers of drought,no problem. If I were having problems with them I would check soil PH,too much water,too deeply planted,dog urine,deer rubbing and or bagworms.Lowes and HD have 1 year warrantys on their plants use them.
    Hope this help some of your problems...T

  • goosedown2001_yahoo_com

    My question is how much to water them?
    It's Drought Time in Texas & and i just planted 62 Leyland Cypress & been watering like Crazy even put in a Drip System because there's only so much time in the day!
    there is a lot of them turning Brown??
    to much water?? I measured 5 gallons per day is this good?
    Help... lots of time & $$$

  • planta_gardener

    I planted my Leyland cypresses every 10 ft. They grow well.
    Kevin, I think you are way overwatering them! My drip irrigation supplies them with water 2 x a week, 200 mins each session, 1 gal PC emitters. Trees are about 6 ft tall.
    I am in Tx too.

  • scotjute Z8

    Twice a week is what I would recommend for first 6 weeks, then cut back to once a week.

  • harleyk5_aol_com

    We are planting two rows of leyland cypress for a hedge type situation. We are placing them staggered 12 ft apart. So actually ends up with two rows of trees 12ft apart. We added a "root grow" liquid to the water in the hole when planting and then set the root ball into the water and back filled with dirt. I hope this works out because it will be a beautiful view looking to the back of our pasture!

  • coniferjoy

    If there's less space for a "normal" leylandii hedge, there is also a very good alternative availlable, a fastigiate form of the leylandii with the cultivar name '2001'

    Cupressocyparis leylandii 2001

    I found a yellow mutation of this one which does have the same characteristics...
    Cupressocyparis leylandii 'Filip's Starfighter'

  • zooba72

    Can someone please provide several deer resistant alternatives? Leyland Cypress are considered one of the few deer resistant evergreen shrubs that can used as a hedge. The only other alternatives that I'm aware of are American Holly (large tree that's also difficult to hedge) and Boxwood (notorious slow growth).

    I'm in LI, NY and would love some other alternatives. I'm considering Leyland for one of my borders. I would use 3FT shrubs approximately 6FT apart and plan on trimming often.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Brianne Margolin
    I’m in Portland, OR (zone 8b and love my leyland cypress). We have a variety available here, Island Green, which reaches 20’ tall and 6-8’ wide. Monrovia offers a similar tree called Emerald Isle. These are quite manageable and a pretty screen behind layers of golden ash trees, camellias, and rhododendrons. I also have traditional leylands that I keep in the corner of a planting bed where they only have about 9’ of space. They do just fine and I limb them up and have hydrangeas growing below. The hydrangeas are happy here. The leylands get full sun and receive a lot of wind at the top of our hill. I’ve never had to clean up a broken branch. They get a ton of water because it rains consistently here Oct-May. Winters can get down to 25F, but snow is infrequent. None of them have grown more than 1’ each year in height. Surprisingly mine have put on more width at the top than the bottom, which I’m happy about. These cypress trees and my boxwoods are the easiest plants I have (although nearly everything grows well in my area). They might not be great everywhere but I definitely like them better than my arborvitae. The arborvitae get brown patches, grow slowly, and are narrow at the top. I like my Bay Laurel hedge as well but they grow much more slowly and require more effort and watering. I hope these comments help!
  • plantkiller_il_5

    keep an eye on dates of original posts when making replies

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    Just thought I'd add for clarification that no cultivar of Leyland cypress that I am aware of will stay to 6-8' wide. Even '2001', reported to be the narrowest growing cultivar, will have a mature spread of at least 10'. 15-25' is the typical and expected spread of virtually any cultivar of Leyland cypress. And some can get much wider.

  • Brianne Margolin

    Thanks. I couldn’t believe the tag myself so I planted them 10’ apart. I guess I will know in a few years!

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

    I'm surprised to read that your bay laurel requires any watering, Brianne. It's from the Mediterranean and should be pretty drought resistant.

  • Brianne Margolin

    Me too! Our drip system stopped working but we didn’t realize it. After a couple weeks, half the leaves turned brown and fell off. We took great care of them for months and got the sprinkler system repaired. After 6 months they look good and have put on new growth (3”/8cm). They grow against a 7’ concrete wall so perhaps the wall got hot, exascerbating the dry conditions?

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

    Maybe the previous ample water supply had made them a bit soft and dependent? They really shouldn't need ongoing irrigation unless you have much less rain than I imagine.

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