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Propagation and Care of Leyland Cypress as Christmas Trees

Orville M. Lindstrom – Associate Professor-Horticulture Research, Georgia Station,
David J. Moorhead – Professor of Forestry, Warnell School of Forest Resources, Tifton, and
Glen W. Kent – Agricultural Research Coordinator I, Georgia Station.

1997. MP 350. Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, College of Agricultural and Enviromental Sciences, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 U.S.A.


Leyland cypress (X Cupressocyparis leylandii) is an intergeneric (of two separate genera) cross between Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) and Alaska Cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) that originated in England in 1888. Since that time, many cultivars have been selected that differ in coloration and growth habit. Leyland cypress has long been suggested as a selection for shelterbelt, hedge, and landscape plantings. Plants will tolerate a wide range of soil types from clay to sand, acid to alkaline. It grows well in full sun, but tolerates partial shade. Growth is best when moisture is adequate and responds well to irrigation, but it is also drought tolerant and suitable for dry sites. Classified hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 7 (average minimum winter temperature 0° to 10°F), Leyland cypress is relatively cold hardy and well suited to out planting throughout the state.

Recently Leyland cypress has shown promise for Christmas tree production because of its fast growth, natural form and attractive foliage. Many growers produce saleable trees in four year on quality sites, and there are few major diseases or insect pests that affect its growth. This publication describes the propagation, transplanting, and cultural practices for Leyland cypress Christmas tree production based on research and observation by the authors. These practices should provide a good reference point for growers interested in producing Leyland cypress Christmas trees. Additional research is ongoing at the Georgia Experiment Station regarding Leyland cypress propagation and culture.


Site Preparation
Pruning and Shearing
Diseases and Pests

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