There are many reasons you might want to consider planting a Leyland cypress tree in your yard. A Leyland cypress tree works very well as a hedge plant, but if you love birds, you will plant one with them in mind, as it provides them some protection from predators like hawks or roadrunners. Because the trees are very dense, the birds are also protected somewhat from the ravages of severe weather.
No tree will provide 100% safety for your backyard birds, as we have witnessed a hawk fly directly up into the Leyland cypress tree in an attempt to capture a bird. Luckily, the bird was able to fly out the back of the tree and escape while the hawk was fighting through the branches of the dense tree. But the birds keep coming back to the tree and seem to know that they are safer there than anyplace else.
Also, this type of tree can grow to become a living barrier that can grow up to 60 feet tall with a diameter of up to 15 feet, affording you and your family the privacy you deserve.
This fast-growing evergreen has fine, feathery, soft-green pointed needles on flattened branches. At maturity, the needles will turn a dark blue-green color. The tree matures to a dense, pyramidal outline. These trees are hardy in USDA growing zones 6-10.
You can plant a Leyland cypress tree just about any time the ground in your yard isn't frozen. You should select a sunny area (part shade is okay) that has well-draining soil with a pH of 5.0-8.0. You can buy a simple test kit from any garden center to check the pH of your soil. You should know the pH of every section of your yard, regardless of what you want to plant.
Your spacing of these trees will depend upon why you are planting them. If you desire a tall hedge, screen or a windbreak, you should space them about 10 feet apart. For a row of Christmas trees, rows should be about six feet apart.
Note: If the pH of your soil is below 5.0, add lime or wood ashes, which will raise the level. If the pH needs to be lowered, add iron sulfate or magnesium sulfate to the soil.
© 2019 Mike and Dorothy McKenney