Leyland Cypress – Re-establishing Roots

Q: Our six-year-old Leyland cypress, fifteen feet tall, blew over in a drenching rain and subsequent wind. Can it be uprighted and staked? Or is it a goner?

A: It can be pulled back into place but it will need a stout nearby stake for at least two years. Here’s what I’d do: while the tree is down, use a post hole digger to dig a hole twelve inches away from where the trunk will be when vertical. Make the hole twenty four inches deep. Install an eight-foot-long pressure-treated 4″x4″ timber in the hole and pack dirt tightly around its base. Shovel dirt out of the spot where the Leyland cypress’ roots once grew and save it in a bucket. Using a wide strap around the tree trunk, slowly bring it upright and tie it loosely to the post. Use dirt from the bucket to cover the roots where they rest. The post will hold the plant upright for the next few years as it re-establishes a strong root system. Be sure to water it regularly in summer.