Leyland Cyprus Tree

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The Leyland Cyprus Leylandii tree resembles a typical Christmas tree and is often used as such. Naturally shaped in a triangular pattern, this tree can also be shaped by hand to form a bush-like tree and can be used for privacy or to prevent severe wind. Growing in excess of 40-50 feet at maturity, this particular tree grows rapidly while young, effortlessly growing three to four feet per year. The record for the largest Leyland Cyprus Leylandii tree was last recorded at 130ft and growing, but due to its shallow root system large trees such as this have been known to tumble over. The shallow roots are the main reason to attempt to keep this tree out of harsh summer conditions, if at all possible, because they are susceptible to Cyprus canker disease, which is caused by a fungus. This disease leads to dieback and eventually will kill the tree. Despite that, the Leyland Cyprus can be quite hardy, easily growing to massive heights even in the worst of conditions, although it does do better in full to partial sun with excellent drainage.

The branches are covered in feather-esc foliage that has soft leaves on flat, smaller branches. While young its leaves are a mellow green and when mature they turn a dark blue-green. This Cyprus contains no flowers, yet it does produce cones that enclose the tree�s seeds. It also displays a beautiful reddish-brown bark. When branches are clipped, one should use caution while handling the clippings as the sap from this tree can cause extreme skin irritation in some individuals.
When naturally kept, this tree is a better fit for larger landscapes. It can quickly outgrow the average household landscape. Superb for screening and is often seen running along the highway or near parking lots and things of that nature. Due to it colorings, the Leyland Cyprus Leylandii tree makes for a beautiful landscape addition, especially in the winter months when its color stands out the most. Care should be given when deciding where to place the tree though, what gives the tree its� sought after appeal can also be its downfall.

The Leyland Cyprus Leylandii tree is a natural hybrid. This took place in what is believed to be around 1888 at the Leighton Hall, Prowys, while owned at the time by John Naylor, the nephew of Christopher Leyland who originally bought the estate in 1845. Naylor rebuilt the entire grounds, including a large sum toward landscaping. At this time he hired Edward Kemp to do the gardening. Kemp used such trees as Redwoods, two species of Conifers which are native to the Pacific coast of North America, the Monterey Cyprus from California and the Nootka or Alaskan Cyrus, just to name a few. Naturally the Monterey and Nootka would never bond being hundreds of miles apart, but here they did. The hybridization occurred when the flowers, or cones, from the Nootka Cyprus were pollinated by the Monterey Cyprus. The result was the Leyland Cyprus Leylandii tree.

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Author: Tammy Sons

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