Ermerald Isle leyland cypress - Knowledgebase Question

Smithsburg, MD
Avatar for jjaakd
Question by jjaakd
October 1, 2005
I am looking for trees to plant as a screen on one side of my yard about 20 feet from an above ground pool. I have a view of the mountains from my deck so I want privacy for the pool but do not want to lose my view. I had ruled out leyland cypress earlier this summer due to the mature height. I was considering Emerald arbor vitae however after a visit to a local nusery last week, I became interested in the Emerald Isle Leyland Cypress. Is the mature height only 20- 25 feet? Also, could I top in to be only about 15 feet? What about pruning so it does not get too wide. I live on a corner lot and I would have to prevent my trees from growing into the sidewalk.
Jeanne Dinterman

Answer from NGA
October 1, 2005
In my experience, the winters in your area are really just a bit too cold for the Leland Cypress to grow all that well. In addition, they are well known for aggressive and spreading root systems. They also grow fast so would need constant pruning if the mature width is beyond what you have space for. For these reasons I think you would be much happier in the long run with one of the naturally narrow columnar arborvitaes. They can be pruned for height if required although this is a big job requiring ladders (or professional help) so it would be better to select a cutivar that matures ot the size range you need. Degroot's Spire for instance is naturally about 4 to 5 feet wide and 20 feet tall. Emerald is a bit narrower and tops out at about 15 feet. You might also check with your local county extension and professionally trained nursery staff for their suggestions. Good luck with your hedge.

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