In making choices for trees in a subdivision, we have learned that Leyland is a fast growing, mutant-sterile-hybrid, which grows fast, and is beautifu...
Life span of Leyland Cypress? #817001
Asked November 28, 2022, 6:07 PM EST
In making choices for trees in a subdivision, we have learned that Leyland is a fast growing, mutant-sterile-hybrid, which grows fast, and is beautiful. But, we’ve learned that hazards come along with it: flammable, shallow roots with no tap root, and a short lifespan. We’re wondering if you know the lifespan of a Leyland Cypress and if it’s a good tree to plant between two houses in a city subdivision?
Thank you for contacting Ask Extension about Leyland cypress.
Fast-growing trees are often short-lived. Under optimum growing conditions, Leyland cypress can live 25 to 50 years. However, heat and drought may lead to stress and diseases. When planted in heavy clay soils and subject to hot, dry growing conditions, they may live only 10 to 20 years. With the way our summers are trending, you should plan to keep a ring of moist soil (not soggy) that extends 10 feet beyond the drip line anytime temperatures are above 90 degrees.
Generally, trees should be planted at least 15 feet away from a house to maintain good airflow and prevent damage to paint and roofing. Taller trees should be farther away from foundations to allow for proper lateral root growth. However, it is possible to keep Leyland cypress shorter with annual pruning.
This work is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.