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Common Name: Leyland Cypress
Cupressocyparis leylandii is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 40.00 metres tall.
The plant is often grown as an ornamental, where it can be used to make a fast-growing hedge or shelter belt.
A bi-generic hybrid of garden origin. Cupressus macrocarpa x Chamaecyparis nootkatensis.
Not known in the wild.
An easily grown plant, it prefers a moist fertile soil but also succeeds in sandy soils[
] and tolerates calcareous conditions[
]. Very wind resistant, it tolerates salt-laden winds and maritime exposure[
A very fast growing tree, capable of reaching 20 metres within 20 years[
]. A number of different clones are available[
The Leyland cypress has been widely planted for hedging in recent years, though it is singularly unsuited for this purpose in all but the largest of sites[
]. The plant has gained the reputation of being very bad for wildlife since it offers native species very little in the way of food. However, it is favoured by many birds for roosting, high cover and especially for nesting because it offers such good cover. Our 12 hectare site was totally devoid of trees when we took it over in 1989, five years later we had our first birds nesting in trees on the land - in 4 metre tall Leyland cypresses![
]. Large specimens of this tree help to attract songbirds to the garden[
The bruised foliage has a sweet resinous scent[
Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus[
Plants can be grown as a windbreak hedge succeeding in very exposed positions and reasonably tolerant of maritime exposure[
]. They can suffer wind burn after prolonged storms but usually recover quickly[
]. Very fast growing, it can be trimmed so long as it is not cut back into old wood[
]. Only young plants should be used for shelterbelts in exposed positions and these must not be pot-bound or they will never become really wind firm[
]. This species has been much used for hedging in urban gardens but it is singularly unsuitable for this purpose[
]. Although it very quickly provides a screen, it is much too vigorous for most gardens and will need constant attention to keep it within bounds[
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7cm with a heel, mid summer in sandy soil in a humid frame[
]. Strikes readily.
Cuttings from side growths in early spring[