Cupressocyparis leylandii, also commonly referred to as Leylandii or Leyland, is the conifer that we all love to hate!
It is a cross between Chamaecyparis nootkatensis and Cupressus macrocarpa and is Britain’s most known tree; perhaps for all the wrong reasons!
This evergreen conifer has scale like leaves and a dark green, dense appearance. It is often used for evergreen screening and is Europe’s fastest growing conifer, which is often the reason that it is planted, and then becomes a nuisance as it is rather too large for most urban gardens. That said, it does make a super hedge if managed and it is management that is the key, as once out of hand these conifers are difficult to tame.
Single specimen and avenue planting of Cupressocypairs leylandii look fantastic, these conifers naturally retain a dense columnar shaped crown and are eye catching on the horizon in the depths of winter.
In parkland these conifers have enough space to reach their full potential without causing nuisance. Leylands are quite remarkably tough trees; they will grow well on most well drained soils, including chalk, and can withstand salt laden wind, so are a useful evergreen for coastal plantings.
Be careful to plant this tree with the future in mind, whether you are going to allow it to grow to its full potential, or control as a hedge, attention should be given to the fact this is an extremely fast growing tree.
It is still unknown what heights Leylandii are capable of reaching at maturity; currently the oldest one is 40m tall and still growing!