Leyland Cypress

x Cupressocyparis leylandii

A Row of Leyland cypress. Note the uniformity of these cultivars.

This tree is a hybrid of Monterey cypress and Alaskan cedar. Six seedlings were discovered in 1888 by C.J. Leyland at Leighton Hall in the South of Wales. The two parent trees were growing on the Leighton Hall Estate and cross bred purely by accident. Mr. Leyland continued to develop the trees with the assistance of his nephew J.M. Naylor during the early 1900's. In 1941, rooted cuttings arrived in United States, through California, for the first time. In 1965, they found their way to Clemson University in South Carolina where their use as Christmas trees became apparent.

In England, the Leyland cypress is used as an ornamental and as a wind break. In New Zealand and Australia, it is used for wood products. In the United States, it has become a valued landscape plant and one of the most sought after Christmas trees.

This stately beauty is a sterile hybrid and must be propagated by individual cutting. Leylands are aggressive plants. They secrete a natural herbicide from their roots to reduce the competition from surrounding vegetation. In its mature form, heights of 138' are expected, and the tree is capable of withstanding temperatures of about 0 F.

The bark of the Leyland cypress is characterized by a skin-like texture. It is quite delicate. Care should be exercised to ensure that it does not tear while being cut.

Today there are 8 cultivars of Leyland cypress.

*Grown at Shady Pond Tree Farm

Leighton Green-

Leyland Cypress-'Leighton Green'

The Leighton Green has been the Leyland cypress cultivar most commonly planted in Louisiana for use as Christmas trees. Interest in the Leighton Green variety has steadily increased over the past few years and has resulted in Shady Pond Tree Farm planting more of these beautiful trees. Limited inventories in the recent past has kept the price for Leylands up. But beginning this year the price for the Leighton Green will be reduced significantly because of the increased supply. They will be only slightly more expensive than Virginia Pines of the same size.

The foliage of this tree is a dark forest green. It is heavy and stout with a somewhat coarser appearance when compared to the other Leyland cultivars. It remains quite fresh when properly cared for.


Leyland Cypress-'Castlewallen'

This Leyland variety has very delicate lacy foliage. In winter, the exterior of the tree turns gold while the interior remains green. Castlewellans are noted for their strong tendency to conical growth. Castlewellans are still in limited supply and as such will be somewhat higher priced.

Silver Dust-

Leyland Cypress-'Silver Dust'

These Leylands are identified by the white variegated splotches on the foliage. Their leaf structure is otherwise very similar to that of Leighton Green. As with Castlewellan, Silver Dust is in limited supply.

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