WSU Clark County Extension

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Leyland Cypress

Scientific name: Cupressocyparis leylandii

Type:Coniferous trees
Plant Requirements
Zone:6 to 10
Sun:Full sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:50 ft
Width:20 ft
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description As a widely planted conifer in the Pacific Northwest, Leyland Cypress is often grouped together on pasture ground to form shelterbelts and screening between home sites.

This evergreen conifer grows to 35’-50’ with a spread of 15’-20’. It has a symmetrical form resulting in the creation of a dense pyramidal shape maturity. The needles are overlapping and scaly and are assembled into flattened sprays that densely cover the upward curving branches.

This species grows very quickly (2’-3’ per year) but may have a short life span (20 years). It was developed in England in 1888 as a cross between Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) and Nootka cypress (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis).

This species can grow in partial shade but it prefers full sun. It can grow well on a wide array of soil types including those that are clay, loam, sand, acidic or alkaline. It prefers well-drained sites. Note that on windy sites that are poorly drained, mature Leyland Cypress trees have been known to blow over.

Leyland Cypress is often sheared at an early stage to form hedges as it features very dense foliage and branches that grow near the ground. However once this plant has been sheared it will need further trimming once per year. In England there are many hedges trimmed when they were young but then allowed to be let go, thus losing the desirable shape.

None reported in the Pacific Northwest.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234