Trees and Shrubs forum: Leyland Cypress Privacy Screen - Bad Idea?

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(Zone 7a)
rappahannockrag
Sep 19, 2017 4:04 PM CST
A week ago I planted six 7ft Leyland Cypress trees five feet apart on one side of my yard... (awaiting gasps). I would like to use them to create and maintain a 16ft privacy hedge. I desperately want to screen my neighbors yard because of the 15 - 20ft tall playground/monstrosity that is near my property border. How they got it by the HOA I will never know. I have a link to pictures below. The pictures are taken facing East. The closest tree is about 20 feet from my house and the rest get farther away. After reading around at others' horror stories and warnings I am having serious second thoughts about my choice to plant Leylands. I am 36 years old and enjoy some yard work and gardening so regular trimming wont bother me at this point. But I have concerns about whether there is a better choice to screen my problem and whether I can successfully trim them to maintain the desired height and keep them healthy. I also worry about what the 'hedge' could become if I ever sell the place and someone lets it go. See the pictures. I shelled out a tidy sum for 7' tall trees. But, at this point I am wondering if it is wiser to put them back in pots and try to sell them at a loss in order to plant something better for the space. Should I keep the trees? Advice appreciated.


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(Zone 7a)
rappahannockrag
Sep 19, 2017 5:00 PM CST
Also forgot to mention, another option I am considering is moving them about another foot away from the fence, possibly spreading them out a bit. Is two weeks in the ground too late to move?
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
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pepper23
Sep 19, 2017 8:18 PM CST
Move them back and spread them out some more. Think of their mature size and give them that much room plus a few inches to allow for air space between each tree. Another foot from the fence should be ok.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 20, 2017 5:19 AM CST
You can keep a leyland hedge smaller than 16' even though it can be a very big tree left to its own devices. As far as spacing is concerned, a rule of thumb I've seen mentioned is to divide the desired ultimate height by 4. So for a 16 ft high hedge you'd plant them 4ft apart. Trimming a 16ft hedge will be a big job though, presumably requiring a ladder or a professional hedge trimming service.
(Zone 7a)
rappahannockrag
Sep 25, 2017 8:04 AM CST
I've decided to remove the trees and replace them with a couple of crape myrtles. Once they get tall enough I'll plant shrubs underneath

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