The Q&A Archives: Planting & pruning Leyland Cypress Emerald Isle

Question: We just removed about 33 old Arborvide plants because the plants had grown too wide. So, now we plan to plant 33 of your Leyland Cypress, Emerald Isle plants to provide a privacy hedge that we can sucessfully prune and still have green growth.

I planned to space the plants on 3ft centers so the foliage would grow into a dense privacy hedge. Then I want to shear the hedge to 3' wide and top at about 10ft. Will there be any problems?

Answer: Emerald Isle typically grows 6-8' wide. I'd plant them on 4' centers so they will grow together without crowding. You may have difficulty keeping them at a 3' width as they age - 5-6' would be a better goal. If you prune them too narrow, you'll end up with some bare areas along the trunk. Arborvitae would be a better choice because their mature width is only about 3'. If you have the room, go ahead and plant the Emerald Isle's. If not, you may want to choose another plant.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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