Leland Cypress Trees

Asked June 16, 2015, 7:04 AM EDT

Hi. We live in Chambersburg and have 4 remaining Leland Cypress trees. They are 15 years old. One died and I removed it this spring. The remaining ones look like they are thinning and have scattered brown spots. I put in some trees spikes, but is there anything else I can do to make sure they are and remain healthy? Thank you, Joe Jenkins

Cumberland County Pennsylvania

2 Responses

Leland cypress are fast growing and therefore have a relatively short life span of between 10 and 20 years. If you don't detect any disease or pest damage, your trees may be showing signs of aging and need to be replaced. Here is a quote about life expectancy.

Information About Leland Cypress

Leland cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii) is a rare, but successful, hybrid between two different genera: Cupressus and Chamaecyparis. Leyland cypress has a short lifespan for an evergreen tree, surviving for 10 to 20 years. This tall evergreen conifer is grown commercially in the Southeast as a Christmas tree.

Here is some additional information on Leyland Cypress. They are on the northern fringe on the growing zone and the last two cold winters have resulted in a lot of browning and kill. Although Leyland Cypress is heavily used as a screening shrub, they are not always the best choice in this area unless their site is a protected one.
They also tend to grow fast and very tall - up to 70 feet in height but have a very shallow root system that makes them susceptible to wind and ice damage.

The picture you provided suggests that the tree may be suffering from Seiridium Canker. The following link will provide some additional information on this disease and other diseases of the Leyland cypress and help you decide if it is just some winter injury or a more serious problem.