The Q&A Archives: Planting Leyland Cypress Trees

Question: I planted 8 Leyland Cypress trees in a fence formation (6 feet apart) in our backyard just last week, Dec 13. We in subarbs of Washington DC.
The Trees were 5-6 feet tall. The root balls were at least 5 gallon. I dug the the size of the root balls and planted them (dug extra room on the sides then filled with soil.)

The soil was soft and wet, good brown color. It was easy to dig out. We've been getting good rain.

My questions are:

I read stuff on the importance of drainage. How do i know if the area where i planted has good/bad drainage?

Do I need to fertilize them ? If yes, which one?

Should I put mulch around them now or in spring ?

Will the winter provide enough irrigation or do i need to water them? how much water?

Do I need to stake them ?

I planted a 10 foot white pine. The root ball was huge. Please adress the same questions as for the Lylands.

Thank you in advance.


Answer: As a rule of thumb, a spot with bad drainage will have standing water after it rains, or will have particularly muddy, soggy, sloppy, soil compared to other locations in your yard. Often a low spot is poorly drained but a slope will be well drained.

You could fertilize the trees with a balanced all purpose granular fertilizer according to the directions on the label. However, the best way to know how much to fertilize them (and with what) is to run some basic soil tests and find out what kind of condition your soil is in to begin with. Your County Extension should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results.

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