Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Leyland Cypress

Cupressocyparis leylandii ( Leyland Cypress )

A hybrid of the Monterrey and the Nootka Cypresses from the West Coast; the Leyland cypress is now one of the most popular evergreen screen trees in the Mid Atlantic U.S. What most people don't know is that it can easily exceed 100 feet when mature and some trees on good sites may even reach the massive dimensions of it's parents and attain sizes of 200 x 70 x 11 feet after a few centuries. Growing up to 4 inches in a single week, the Leyland Cypress can grow up to 5 feet in a year and can increase its trunk diameter by 2 inches. From the cuttings they are grown from ( Leyland Cypress is not propagated from seed ) it can grow 23 x 8 feet in just 5 years; 82 x 17 feet in 20 years and can reach a trunk diameter of 5 feet in 70 years. When mature and limbed up they can look like a giant Virginia Red Jumiper. Very attractive in groves, the brown stringy bark in itself is attractive. With age the lower limbs will start to die off from shade ( especially when they are planted too close together ) and these branches should be removed. There is no tree more often unappropriately planted than this, sometimes even used as a foundation plant. Yes, Leyland Cypresses are not costly however no money is saved when in the future a massive oversized plant will need to be removed.
Still, the Leyland Cypress along with the Green Giant Arborvitaes are among the most valuable windbreaks and screens in the Eastern U.S. The Leyland Cypress is hardy to -20F, it grows best in deep rich well drained soil and is very tolerant of drought and salt spray. Can be prone to canker on less than ideal sites. Bagworms can be an occasional problem, removing the bags as soon as they are noticed can decrease the number of them.
It's attractive foliage is very dark green and in flattened drooping sprays.
Many Leyland's on the East Coast were destroyed during the blizzards of 2010. Cryptomerias and Green Giant Arborvitaes are far sturdier and long lived and that should be kept in mind when selecting a tall screen. The Leylands are fast growing but all too often are NOT permanent. Propagation is from cuttings taken summer through winter.

* photos taken on Feb 2009 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on July 2004 @ Tyler Arboretum near Philly, PA

* photos taken in Howard County, MD



* photos taken on Apr 26 2013 in Columbia, MD
* photo taken on July 18 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 16 2015 @ Oakland Manor, Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 9 2015 in Pikesville, MD

* photo taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

* photo taken on Aug 5 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 24 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 16 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Feb 13 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Castlewellan Gold'
Fast growing, dense and upright, reaching up to 63 feet with bright golden-yellow new foliage.

* photo taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


'Gold Rider'
A fast growing, dense, pyramidal large tree, reaching up to 20 feet in 10 years, 40 x 15 feet in 20 years, and eventually much larger.
The foliage is intense golden-yellow.
A great substitute for the often boring regular Leyland.

* photo taken on Sep 19 2013 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on Oct 30 2014 in Olney, MD

* photos taken on Feb 8 2015 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


'Greenspire'
Narrow and green. To 90 feet with a trunk diameter of 3 feet

'Haggerston Gray'
Glaucous foliage. Reaches up to 120 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 feet.

'Harlequin'
Reaches up to 43 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.5 feet in 22 years.

'Leighton Green'
Reaches up to 103 feet with a trunk diameter of 6 feet.

'Nayler's Blue'
A less common variety however is very beautiful having glaucous sweeping branches and weeping foliage. A Nootka Cypress look alike, it grows to 33 x 17 feet in 10 years; 70 feet with a trunk diameter of 26 inches in 29 years and eventually alot more.

'Robinsons Gold'
Fast growing but dense and conical, reaching up to 68 feet with a trunk diameter of 2.5 feet with golden new foliage.

Cupressocyparis x ovenii
A hybrid between Chamaecyparis nootkatensis & Cupressus lusitanica. It is very fast growing and pyramidal in habit, with flattened dark bluish-green sprays of foliage.. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; 6 years - 18 feet. Hardy zones 6 to 9.

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