Seven Benefits of Leyland Cypress Trees

About the Leyland cypress

These trees are fast-growing evergreens that provide you with an almost instant mature – and tall – tree. They work brilliantly as attractive feature trees in a landscaped garden or yard and they can also be planted in rows for privacy.

The Leyland cypress was developed in Wales, UK, at the end of the 19th century. It’s a hybrid of two American trees – the Alaska cedar and the Monterrey cypress – and these varieties were cross-pollinated to produce what rapidly became one of America’s favorite trees. The variety was named after CJ Leyland, the man who collected the hybridised seeds and planted them in Leighton Hall in Wales.

What’s so great about this tree, then?

Fast growth

With a growth rate of three to five feet per year, it doesn’t take long for Leyland cypress trees to become mature and functional.

They offer excellent privacy

Leylands grow big enough to obscure your neighbours, or hide and muffle the sight and sound of a nearby road. They also offer you some protection against opportunistic burglars.

They offer a physical barrier

Shielding your property from scouting intruders is one thing, but helping to keep them out is another benefit – the thick foliage and branch systems of the Leyland cypress make it difficult for people to get through. It also acts as an effective windbreak.

Leylands are tough cookies

They can tolerate a lot of salt, making them ideal for coastal areas. They also do well during floods, droughts and snow. An added bonus is that they’re more resistant to diseases and pests than a lot of other evergreens. As if that wasn’t enough, these trees thrive in all sorts of soils, from clay to light loam. If your soil is very heavy clay, you can help the trees along by adding some well-rotted fertilizer to lighten it up and improve drainage, if you want.

Once they’re planted, you hardly have to do anything else, unless you want to shape them.

If you do prune or shape them, spring is the best time to do it as it encourages vigorous growth. If you’re really into shaping them, though, you can carry on doing this at any time of the year.

They’re beautiful

They have dark green, feathery foliage and are becoming increasingly popular among Christmas tree growers. Many people are planting them in their yards and use them as outdoor Christmas trees, stringing them with lights for a magical appearance during winter darkness.

They increase the neighbourhood’s health

The feathery foliage can trap particulate pollution, helping people to breathe more easily. They provide shade to gardens during the summer, enabling people to stay outside without burning in the sun, and during the winter months they offer a safe, warm refuge for wild birds.

They increase property prices in the neighbourhood

Houses with large, mature trees in the gardens or grounds almost always sell for more than properties without trees. In some cases trees increase the sale price of a property by 15%.