We depend on donations from users of our database of over 8000 edible and useful plants to keep making it available free of charge and to further extend and improve it. In recent months donations are down, and we are spending more than we receive. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


Cupressocyparis leylandii - (A.B.Jacks.&Dallim.)Dallim.

Common Name Leyland Cypress
Family Cupressaceae
USDA hardiness 6-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known in the wild.
Range A bi-generic hybrid of garden origin. Cupressus macrocarpa x Chamaecyparis nootkatensis.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Cupressocyparis leylandii Leyland Cypress

Cupressocyparis leylandii Leyland Cypress


Translate this page:


Form: Columnar, Oval, Pyramidal.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Cupressocyparis leylandii is an evergreen Tree growing to 40 m (131ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Wind.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map



Woodland Garden Canopy; Hedge;

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

Now available: PLANTS FOR YOUR FOOD FOREST: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens.

An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More


Other Uses

Hedge  Hedge  Shelterbelt

Plants can be grown as a windbreak hedge succeeding in very exposed positions and reasonably tolerant of maritime exposure[11, 75]. They can suffer wind burn after prolonged storms but usually recover quickly[75]. Very fast growing, it can be trimmed so long as it is not cut back into old wood[11, 200]. 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[11]. This species has been much used for hedging in urban gardens but it is singularly unsuitable for this purpose[200]. 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[200].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Hedge  Hedge  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Christmas tree, Hedge, Screen, Seashore, Specimen. An easily grown plant, it prefers a moist fertile soil but also succeeds in sandy soils[188] and tolerates calcareous conditions[245]. Very wind resistant, it tolerates salt-laden winds and maritime exposure[11]. A very fast growing tree, capable of reaching 20 metres within 20 years[185]. A number of different clones are available[185, 200]. 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[200]. 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![K]. Large specimens of this tree help to attract songbirds to the garden[200]. The bruised foliage has a sweet resinous scent[245]. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]. Special Features: Not North American native, There are no flowers or blooms.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now


Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7cm with a heel, July/August in sandy soil in a humid frame[11]. Strikes readily. Cuttings from side growths in March[11].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment



Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Ken Fern, Plants for a Future   Thu Dec 20 2007

The best time to take cuttings of this plant is in the summer. Look for young shoots about 7cm long growing out from a main stem - pull this entire shoot off carefully so that a heel of wood remains at the base. Plant the cuttings in a sandy soil and keep humid until rooting has taken place. The cuttings usually strike readily.

jocasta   Sat Oct 28 2006

a great tree to hide the face of nosey neighbour

John Ives   Wed Jan 24 2007

What is the root spread of Leylandii - I have one about 40 years old , has a wide trunk base and is way above house height. Question - where would the roots spread too and how deep Due to clay my house has very deep foundations but the tree is about 15ft from it. I would appreciate any advice - Thankyou

Rodrigo de Sá   Tue Dec 18 2007

How do I grow it from cuttings? There is one very pretty cultivar I want and cannot find it in the market, but I can take some cuttings from it. Does it develop roots in plain water? Do I need to stick it into soil and if so how moist? I love this tree in spite of all the bad publicity and I have a very large garden, so I won't be using it as a hedge.

Ian Atkinson   Sun Jul 15 2007

Please could you advise me - I planted approx 100 very small/young leylandii as a screening hedge approx last november. They all survived & are doing ok but I wounder if I should be giving them some food to give them a boost in the early stages - what would you advise to use ? Many thanks for your help, Ian Atkinson North Yorkshire

George   Thu Nov 29 2007

Does anyone know of any problems with roots of a Leylandii

Omer Alkubaisy   Wed Oct 15 2008

What is the root spread of Leylandii - I have one about 20 years old , has a wide trunk base and is way above house height. Question - where would the roots spread too and how deep Due to clay my house has very deep foundations but the tree is about 4m from it. I would appreciate any advice - Thankyou

LES HOWARD   Mon Oct 20 2008


[email protected]   Sat Apr 25 2009

planta da boa esperança

Leylandii hedging is high maintenance!   Jan 21 2012 12:00AM

I thought I'd shed some light on some of the above questions & offer my thoughts on Leylandii as a hedge plant. -Leylandii roots are not very spreading or invasive, in fact they are quite shallow and mature trees are susceptible to being blown over. With regards to Omer's question, I doubt that the roots will do anything directly to the foundations, but if your house is on clay soil that is affected by shrinkage in dry weather, any big tree that is right next to the house can make this problem worse. - Feeding young leylandii: if the soil is not especially rich then yes, feeding with any nitrogen based liquid feed in spring is good. Leylandii can really suck the nutrients out of the soil around it, so a yearly mulch of well rotted manure is good too. In the main article above, it says a couple of times that leylandii is not suitable for a hedge in a normal garden. I think that the issue is more nuanced than that. Leylandii can be kept trimmed as a hedge of any height down to about 2 metres and regular mulching will counteract its tendency to drain the soil's goodness. The problems usually arise when impatient people decide that they must have a, say, 5 metre tall hedge ASAP. They use Leylandii and then aren't prepared for the maintenance involved in keeping it at a stable height - two trims per year are usually necessary. The people who use Leylandii out of a lack of patience are often the same people that put off trimming their hedge and things spiral out of control. The owner of the hedge then gets faced with a big bill to get it trimmed and if it is not their garden that is being shaded out, some people will just not bother. Full sized leylandii is certainly too much for the average garden!
Leylandii - Ashridge Trees

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Cupressocyparis leylandii  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.