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Hi everyone--Leyland Cypress question (pruning)

Posted by lelandcyris Georgia (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 4, 09 at 17:20

Leland Cyris here (pun intended).

Here in GA we had several inches of rain over the past week followed by about 6 inches of heavy wet snow.

I have two rows of Leyland Cypress trees that are in a snake pattern and very close together. The row on the left side of the house is on an incline a little bit up to my neighbor's drive. The other row is on flat ground.

Thanks to the rain and snow, one of the Leylands that are 20 some feet high fell over. It didn't break, just half way uprooted because it hit the house. I pulled it back upright with a tow strap today and staked it.

Three questions:

1) What are the chances this guy will make guess.

2) What should I do to help get it going again...hit it with some fertilizer?

3) Most of these trees are already 25+ feet tall and I want to cut them back to about 15 feet and maintain them there. If I were to cut the main stalks at 14 feet or so and flat-top the tops, would this work? Would this kill them?

I must get these cut to a decent size because they are too tall and on the incline, they will topple with the next heavy winds.

Thanks all.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Hi everyone--Leyland Cypress question (pruning)

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 4, 09 at 17:41

The one pulled back up might in fact live. However, if it is rootbound it may not ever develop a good solid anchorage. You don't fertilize to do anything except correct soil infertility. That's all fertilizer is good for. Cutting 10' off could be a bit much.

RE: Hi everyone--Leyland Cypress question (pruning)

At 20 ft. I'd probably cut it back and then follow below:
For a smaller tree, restake, and water a couple of times.
Then quit watering that tree. This could kill tree, but if it doesn't, you are forcing tree to grow its roots out to reach moisture. At the same time with no extra water, top growth will be slowed. I did this with an elm, and it worked. Every 3 months loosen up the wires slightly if it looks good so far to allow it to move a little more in the wind. Goal is to be totally loose in about a year.
You may want to cut back or quit watering these trees altogether.
My wife has these planted too close together and they seem to be either growing or dieing. There seems to be no middle position with them. If you cut them back, they will multi-leader. Might want to start replacing them with something else.

RE: Hi everyone--Leyland Cypress question (pruning)

hey cy

they are not zone appropriate for me.. so no hands on knowledge ...

but i was wondering how you will maintain them at 14 feet .. on hill ... do you own a cherry picker??? will you be trying to cut 6 feet off a 20 foot tree from a ladder??? .. or will you be hiring out this work ... with repeat visits yearly to maintain the height???

there is usually a big gap between what MIGHT be done.. and what CAN be done ...

it may be time ... to start thinning the herd ... and replanting with more appropriate stock .... perhaps an investment for the future ...

rather than investing a a black hole of annual maintenance ..

good luck


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