leyland cypress in sw Pa.?

mar_ciaApril 23, 2005

We just built a new home and are looking for landscaping ideas. We are located just south east of Pittsburgh. In Md., outside of WaDC they grew well but our landscaper here wasn't familiar with them. I looked on the internet and it said zone 6 but I don't see any anwhere...which makes me want them even more if they will grow here. They are fast growing which is what we need on this treeless property. Marcia

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bobntess(Z5 PA)

You might want to check out the conifers and trees forums. I am also interested in Leylands and there is alot of info there.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 1:00PM
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Thanks, Bob for answering. I searched the conifer site with no results but I did see a litte discussion on the subject at the tree forum. I just wondered if anyone would answer who actually lives in Pa. and has had success.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 12:25AM
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bobntess(Z5 PA)

Sorry I don't have the experience w/ the Leylands that you need but no one seems to be answering the call.
On my searches of the conifers forum, most seem to advise staying away from the Leylands and recommend the Thuja Green Giant instead. The Thuja seems to be a type of Arborvitae and is fast growing, though not quite as fast as the Leyland. Most are saying the Leyland is more prone to insect and disease damage than the Thuja. Deer damage can also be a factor.
I've also done a Google search on both and found the Thuja is more cold tolerant than the Leyland - more of a concern for me than you.
I need a quick growing screen like you and may try both as I like the look and fast growth of the Leyland and the hardiness of the Thuja. There is a local nursery advertising Leylands on sale delivered and I'm thinking of giving them a call.
Try a google search of both trees - lots of info.
Good luck, Bob

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 12:27PM
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Hi All,

I think that court is still out on Leyland Cypress. I live just 10 miles due east of Philadelphia. About 6 years ago, the County ran a city storm drain under my property edge and immediately anihalated the 30 y/o mature screened buffer located adjacent. They offered white pine 'pencils' as replacements. Yeah right...go away!

So what we did is to decide to back up another 10ft., and get something on our own that would provide the 'screen', and have it infill as rapidly as possible.

Reputable landscape company came in and said 'leyland' and we said what are they? This WAS 6 years ago!

Something 'new' was the reply. They recommended a row of 7, spaced over 40ft., with the understanding that every other one may need to come out in 5-10 years. They also recommended to start with 5 ft. high nursery stock. We bit, and a few weeks later had what looked like a simple row of Christmas trees, that you could still walk between.

Fast forward, they are now over 20 feet tall, have infilled so full that even the dog can't get between them anymore. They appear very healthy, and who knows when they will stop growing, if at all!

It's probably time to strip out that every other one, but it is so lush, we kid that the area is our private 'Northwoods', and if I posted a pic you would stunningly agree! We'll keep them all as long as they remain healthy.

Last year, for the first time we had a minimal few baughs that decided to get a bit limp and yellow. Used this forum as at that time one of the regulars was a USDA guy surveying Leylands and their habitats. I just tried search, but old posts seem to not be available. Anyway, the conclusion was that at best, the Yellowing was 'environmental stress', that old catch all for 'crap happens'. A bunch of us bantered back and forth on line on cure, as there was no conventional wisdom on Leylands, and we agreed to do the most agressive solution. Amputate at the trunk, and live with the 'hollow'!

That was it! No more yellows, and the 'hollow' was so slight you had to look hard even last year. This year, you can't even tell. As mentioned, they are over 20 ft. tall, are Northwoods atmosphere, have a base of maybe 8-9 ft. each by now.

As a reference, at the same time a row of nursery stock 5Ft tall Hemlocks, and 'Berewolf' Pine were planted nearby. since they all started out the same time and size, the Leylands appear to be at least twice as big as the other stock.

Court is still out on whether the Leylands will continue growing and possibly be like the Lombardi Poplars of 25 years ago, meaning they get so tall they then die, but for my nickel, I very much enjoy what we have done and would do it again.

So as far as 'Zone', Latitude at Philadelphia seems to be fine.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 2:21PM
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I am curious to know how your Leyland Cypress' are doing? I have just planted 100 along my property line and I am now wondering if I have made a mistake. I would love to see a picture of what your trees looks like after 7 years of growth. The company that I purchased my trees from suggested that I plant them 6' apart in offset rows. After reading some of the post on this website I am starting to get nervous that they are going to be to close together and there will be to many of them. The area that I am trying to create a screen for is along a 300Â distance along the north side of my 17-acre property. Any advice is greatly appreciated since the majority of the post here are very negative in regards to the Leyland.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 8:33PM
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Hey, I'm new here and this is my first post.

I wanted to let you know my experience with leyland cypress. I am listed in zone 7 - about 50 miles southwest of Philadelphia, roughly 15 minutes SW of Longwood Gardens. However, the microclimate of my property would put me closer to a zone 6 I would say.

I have just 5 leylands in a row along part of my property line. I originally planted them 3 years ago. Each year I have had to replace two or three of them because the deer just strip them down to nothing and leave the branches on the ground. They peal the bark from the branches that they leave on the trees so inevitably those die too. I just replaced 3 of them on Monday with ones that I got pretty cheap. I figured I would give it one more try, but this will be it for me. There are two original trees still standing and doing fairly well. They have grown about 6 feet over the three years which is slower than typically reported. They do get some wind burn as I live in a fairly windy area especially in the winter, but I just trim out the few branches that are affected. Another issue is the bagworms. In the summer and fall I pick many of those pesky things off the trees.

I took a conifers class at Longwood Gardens and Leyland Cypress was discussed. Our text from the class lists USDA zones 6-8 but with borderline hardiness in my area because of the shallow root system. They're recommendation is to plant trees that are no taller than say 5-6' and do it in the spring. The trees grow so fast that the roots tend to be shallow and have a hard time keeping up with the top growth. By planting small and in the Spring you allow for the roots to establish before winter to prevent the tree from blowing over.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 3:52PM
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We didn't end up planting any leyland cypress...just went for the sure thing....blue spruce. We are in a suburb of Pittsburgh. A couple of my neighbors did plant a few though and I looked at them today. They are all next to the house so protected a little. At one house they look a little anemic, but not bad and have put on a lot of growth in two years. The other house ...theirs look like a lot of brown growth and dont' look as good. For what its worth.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 7:44PM
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dirtdivarocks(z6 SW PA)

I planted a couple of leyland cypress a few years ago. They were small when I planted them and from what I read about them I was expecting them to get big and beautiful real fast. They are gone....deer candy. Southwestern PA is loaded with deer, that's probably why there aren't a lot of the leyland cypress around.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 8:21PM
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I remember reading in the old posts that they can also be quite a fire hazard close to houses.

Something to consider.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 2:43AM
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I live in Connecticut and have had leyland cypress at two of my homes here. They are fantastic and I really prefer them to arbor vitae. They fill in quickly and look beautiful. They absolutely do not like to have their feet wet. I have a hedge of 30 which I planted ten years ago. They were two feet tall upon planting, they are now about 25 feet tall except one which is in a wetter area and it is still only about six feet tall. They really hate wet feet. I have deer here and they have not eaten them. I can't say if they are deer resistant or not, but I have lost other plants to deer and not a bite on the leyland.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 3:55PM
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