Leland Cyprus

Asked October 1, 2020, 1:45 PM EDT

I have a Leland Cyprus beside my deck that has outgrown it's location. I would like to 'top' it and let it grow back. It is probably 30 feet high now and I was thinking of cutting it back to about 10 feet. That would leave little greenery on the tree but I was hoping it would rejuvenate. Is this reasonable? Any suggestions on how much to cut off top?

Iredell County North Carolina

3 Responses

  • It is possible to "top" a leyland, however once a leyland is topped, it will lose it's pyramidal shape and put up what can be unattractive multiple lateral branches making it look fuller on top, so you would most likely need to prune back on a regular basis to keep it's new "topped" form. You could try to trim it back on the sides the best you can to keep it contained, but only cut into as deep as the green growth goes, because the old/brown branches on leylands do not rejuvenate (sprout new green branches) if pruned. Topping is probably not the best thing to do unfortunately for attractiveness of the plant, but it's entirely up to you as this is a common issue arounds homes with leylands.
Matt Lenhardt, Horticulture Agent

Thanks so much for your help. Is there an optimum time of year to cut back the Leland?

Thanks again.


In general it is best to prune leylands and other evergreens in the February time frame before spring green up. I have added a link that shows more detail. The leyland information is in the "conifer and evergreen" section in the February pruning month.


Hope this helps!