Leyland Cypress Tree Spacing Explained

Proper spacing of the Leyland Cypress is critical. The height of the target determines the standoff distance. How tall do you need them to grow? If a 14′ row of Leyland cypress trees gives you the privacy protection you want, be sure to top them when they reach that height. You actually have to let them grow a foot taller than your desired height, then just cut off the main trunk or center leader.

On evergreens, they will finish growing and spend all their energy thickening up. More height above what you need is a disadvantage for several reasons. The first is that if the trees need to be sprayed for Bagworms at some point, and they are taller than necessary, it will be more difficult.

A second disadvantage is that during times of stress, such as a dry summer or winter, the tree has to “decide” whether to send the moisture it has to the upper branches and trunk or to the lower ones, it will always send the moisture to the lower branches. . upper growth areas and deprive the lower extremities. Many people say their row of Leyland cypress trees was fine, but “suddenly” this year they started showing brown on the lower needles. This is because the height reached the point relative to space that generates tension.

The “rule of four” is that you space the trees so that the target height is no more than 4 times the space between the trunks. Example: You need a 20′ tall row to block your neighbor’s house or windows, you can space up to 5′ on center. As long as you go all the way, and when they reach 21 or 22′ tall, top them at 20′ tall. That means each tree will get moisture from a 5′ diameter area of ​​soil with no competition from the tree next to it.

Another advantage is that there will be enough room for a strong 5′ diameter root system to secure a 20′ tall tree upwind. The “zigzag” pattern is a great solution if you can give up some “width” of your own for the privacy screen. Let’s take another example; has a 30′ tall privacy screen.

For example, to plant a single row, you will have an 8′ spacing in the center, 4 times an 8′ spacing = 32′ maximum target height. If you choose to start with ten foot tall Leyland cypress trees, they will be 4 feet wide when planted. That will leave them with 4′ of air between each tree and waiting a long time to close.

If you plant two parallel rows, each 8′ on center, but staggered, it will look like there is a tree every 4′, you will have a much quicker close, but you will still have the trees spaced for strength and under stress. In this case, the first row should be 4′ from the property line and the second row should be 8′ from the first.

If the planting site is short on space, you can have the second row 6 feet from the first row. One note is that the appearance of a tree every 4′ is only when you are exactly perpendicular to the row. Also remember that a ten foot Leyland cypress can be 4 feet across at its widest point, but they also get thinner as they grow.

In this situation, you still need the 8′ spacing based on the rule of four, and the “zigzag” pattern will allow you to close much sooner than a row in a straight line. If they went with 12 foot trees, they would be 5 feet wide at the widest point, closing would be much quicker.

Trees should be spaced so that the required target height is no more than 4 times the distance between the trunks. If you need a 20′ tall row to block your neighbor’s house or windows, you can space it up to 5′ on the center. As long as you go all the way, and when they reach 21 or 22 feet tall, cover them again at 20 feet tall.

Two advantages are that: Each tree will receive moisture from a 5′ diameter area of ​​soil with no competition from the tree next to it. Another benefit is that a strong 5 foot diameter root system can secure a 20 foot tall tree against the wind.

The “zig-zag” pattern is a great solution if you can give up some “width” of your own for the privacy screen. For example, someone needs a 30 foot tall privacy screen. If they use the rule of 4 and plant a single row, they should space 8′ on center, 4 times 8′ spacing = 32′ max target height. If you choose to start with ten foot Leyland cypress trees, they will be 4 feet wide when planted. That gap will leave you with 4 feet of space between each tree that would take a long time to close.

If you plant two parallel rows, each 8 feet on center, but staggered so it looks like there is a tree every 4 feet, you will have a much quicker close, but still have the trees spaced for low moisture stress and force. . For this example, the first row should be 4 feet from the property line and the second row should be 8 feet from the first. If space is tight, you can have the second row 6 feet from the first row. One note is that the appearance of a tree every 4′ is only when you are exactly perpendicular to the row. Remember that a ten foot Leyland cypress can be 4 feet wide at its widest point, but they also get much thinner towards the tip. In this situation, you still need the 8′ spacing based on the rule of four, and the “zigzag” pattern will allow you to close much sooner than a row in a straight line. If they went with 12 foot trees, they would be 5 feet wide at the widest point, closing would be much quicker. My clients have been tempted to let them grow because when they reach their desired height, they will look great. That is the precise moment to cover them, once they are distressed and get rid of their lower needles, nothing will make them green again. Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines, so the original author’s copyright and information must be included.

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