x Cuppressocyparis leylandii - Leyland Cypress
Family - Cupressaceae
Size - 60 to 80 feet in height with a spread of 15 to 20 feet. Distinct columnar shape. Fast growing, 3 feet or more per year.
Foliage - Bluish-green, sprays. Feathery, uniform foliage gives the plant a fine textured appearance.
Flower/Fruit/Seed - Cone, about 1/2" in diameter.
Bark - Reddish-brown, scaley and peeling.
Pests and Diseases - Have noticed some canker which kills out large limbs at a time (have had none on the species but have had it occur on 'Castlewellen') leaving the plant open after pruning. Bagworms have been a problem but it all depends on who you talk to. Some have no problem with them whereas others (like us) have them reoccur every year. They will begin to be noticeable in the 3rd week of June.
Landscape Use - Can be used as a hedge or as a screen and this is the way it is most commonly seen. Can be used as a formal accent in groupings. Use of this plant has skyrocketed in the last 8 to 10 years. Not long ago, one had to search for a Leyland, today it's "how many containers do you need?" We use one as a Christmas Tree on campus. It was planted in 1990 as a B&B, 10 foot tall plant. Today, it is well over 25' with about a 12 to 15 foot spread.
Performance - 8 Irregardless of the potential canker and bagworm problems, Leyland Cypress will be a plant that will be used heavily for some time. It's fast growth rate and attractive foliage are it's greatest assets. It thrives in the hot humid summers in the south. It does have it's problems but is still a better plant than Photinia fraseri, Fraser Photinia, which became used to the point of being obnoxious. My fear with Leyland is it's windfirmness, therefore I would question using it as a solitary specimen in open areas which are subject to high winds which could uproot it.