Leyland cypress - care and cutting of bastard cypress

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Leyland cypress - care and cutting of bastard cypress: leyland

Leyland cypress - Care and cutting of bastard cypress Leyland cypress (Cuprocyparis leylandii) is one of the popular garden plants. This fast-growing evergreen tree is still referred to as a bastard cypress, as Leyland cypress is a hybrid of Monterey cypress and the nootka cypress. With proper care, the Leyland cypress looks the same as a proud solitary or as a hedge plant.

Leyland cypress: appearance

The bastard cypress belongs to the cypress family, to the order of the conifers. This plant grows as a shrub or tree. In sheltered locations, this cypress species can reach heights of up to 30 m. This plant is hardy and tolerates the climate in Central Europe quite well. This is the most important reason why Leyland cypresses are popular in this country. In addition, cypresses are evergreen and delight the eye even in deep winter with their color. The leaves are small, scaly and cross-stand on the branches. The unique feature of Leyland cypress is its rapid growth, whereby the tree can grow up to one meter per year. Tip: Different varieties of this cypress are available on the market, which differ in their color. The leaves of breeding forms Robinson Gold or Gold Rider have a yellowish color, that of Silver Dust - a cream-colored. The variety Haggerston Gray with its silver-gray leaves looks original and somewhat distinctive.

Set the bastard cypress properly

The trees are usually sold as young plants, which are between 60 and 120 cm high, in a container. The cypress trees are best planted in August or September. For each plant, a hole is excavated that is about twice as large as the pot or container. In the planting hole is first a layer of garden soil with added coniferous fertilizer. The plant should not sit deeper in the ground than in the container before. Garden soil is again filled with fertilizer around the plant. It is important to pay close attention to the manufacturer's information on the dosage of the fertilizer. The soil should be carefully planted so that the freshly planted cypress does not tip over even in windy conditions. As a distance 30 to 50 cm are recommended if the Leyland cypress is to be used as a hedge plant. Whether as a hedge or as a solitary, cypresses need a sunny location. In case of need, however, the robust plant can tolerate partial shade, in the shady long stunt the cypresses.
Tip: For a hedge with extra width, the cypresses can be planted in two or even three rows.

Care of the cypress

This cypress species, like most of its relatives, is one of the more easy-care plants. To achieve a lush growth, there is a lot to note. Immediately after setting the young tree is to be watered intensively, even if it is raining heavily. However, the cypress does not tolerate waterlogging, that is, a site with poor drainage is wrong for this plant. Regular watering, especially during periods of drought, is important for the growth of the cypress. Basically, it is enough to give the plant twice a year a portion of long-term fertilizer. The special coniferous fertilizers are best suited for this purpose because they provide the plants with all the necessary nutrients, especially nitrogen, phosphate and potassium oxide. Fertilized in the spring (optimal - in May) the second time - at the end of the summer.

The Cut: Shape Leyland Cypresses

After planting in autumn, the young plants need a rest. Above all, casting is the order of the day. The plants do not need pruning. But basically no visually beautiful and dense hedge without the right cut can arise. This is certainly different with the solitary plants, because they are also allowed to develop freely. Of course, a gardener can cut individual cypresses according to his or her ideas, but that's not a must. The bastard cypresses are very suitable for medium to high hedges. But even if the planned hedge is to be quite high, that does not mean that the cypresses should reach the desired height before the gardener uses the scissors. The right decision is to cut back regularly, but each time shorter than natural growth. This ensures that the plant gets higher every year, but remains robust at the same time.

Leyland cypress - Cupressocyparis leylandii

The pruning ensures a particularly dense growth. A well maintained hedge is not only a good visual, but also an optimal windbreak. A cypress hedge pays twice a year. The first cut takes place in spring, when the plant begins to expel or shortly before. The right time for the second cut is the end of August or September. When pruning Caution is advised, since the bastard cypress, as well as other conifers, does not tolerate the cut in the old wood very well.It can form ugly looking bald spots. As the cutting of these trees requires precision, it is recommended to use mechanical pruning shears instead of the electric hedge trimmer. Although this slows down the work, the gardener is rewarded with a visually appealing hedge. In order to achieve the uniform height of the hedge, as a relief, a string can be stretched, the exact cutting height characterizes. A proven method is to start with the crown and only then edit the flanks. A hedge of Leyland cypress trees can be cut well into a specific shape using a template. A tip: If cut back in the blazing sun, the plant can get sunburn at the interfaces.

Worth knowing about the Leyland cypress in a nutshell:

  • A fast growing plant, especially suitable for hedges;
  • Needs a nutrient-rich soil, otherwise easy to care for;
  • Recommended pruning twice a year without cutting into old wood.
The Leyland cypress is one of the best hedge plants. This winter hardy evergreen plant convinces with its fast growth, easy care and resistance. The bastard cypress can fulfill exactly the same tasks here. Many characteristics speak in favor of using the bastard cypress as a hedge plant in the garden. So this cypress species grows very fast. So within a few years you can achieve complete visibility and wind protection through a hedge with Leyland cypresses. In addition, the plant is well tolerated cut.
In the garden, the bastard cypress reaches a height of 20 meters in undisturbed growth, sometimes even 30 meters. The growth of the individual plants is initially columnar. Later, the tree becomes slender and has the shape of a cone. Through good care and regular cutting you can influence the shape and make sure that the hedge is tight.
The ideal location of the bastard cypress is in the full sun. The soil is preferably moderately dry to moist, slightly acidic to alkaline and permeable, but also a bit loamy at the same time. In extreme frost conditions one should do without the plant of the bastard cypress.

The care of the bastard cypress

Having found the ideal location for his bastard cypress, she will generally reward this choice with good and rapid growth. However, you have to control this. With insufficient care, the hedge of bastard cypress likes to proliferate and takes an unbearable extent. Those who plant a hedge of bastard cypress should be aware of the rapid growth and altitude. As a rule, this plant is chosen for hedges, which are said to be very tall. So you have to use the cut at least one ladder. One should be aware of this before buying.
To be able to enjoy his hedge soon, you first have to plant it. Which location and which soils the Leyland Cypress tolerates, we have already shown above. The best time to plant is late summer or early autumn. The plants are available in different sizes The planting distance should be in plants with a size of 60 to 80 centimeters about 40 to 50 centimeters. For larger plants will be adjusted accordingly. After setting must be poured vigorously even in the rain.
Until next spring, the hedge is now given time to grow. On dry, frost-free days you can also pour once, but the rule 'less is more' applies here. In the spring you can fertilize for a faster growth. Horn shavings, long-term fertilizer or a special conifer fertilizer are suitable for this purpose.

The cut

- The most important thing for a beautiful hedge of bastard cypresses -
In the first year no cut is necessary. You should decide for yourself when you want to do the first cut. For a good and dense growth is essential above all things that is cut regularly and correctly.
A cut is made once or twice a year. Since the bastard cypress is an evergreen plant, the use of an electric hedge trimmer with caution. Precise and visually appealing, the hedge trimming succeeds with a secateurs. In order for the hedge to have a uniform height, tensioning a string helps.
Hedges made of bastard cypresses can also be beautifully cut into shape due to their dense growth. This is done either by hand or using a template made of plywood or cardboard.
The best time to cut such a hedge is the spring before the new leaves are cast out. The second cut, as one is required, takes place as needed. You have to recognize the best time yourself. It is important that the cut is done carefully so that the hedge retains its beautiful and dense shape.


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