Leyland cypress – Trimming

Q: When I bought my house, the Leyland cypress at the end of my driveway was a cute thing about seven feet tall. Now, eight years later, it is twenty-five feet tall. Can you trim them to keep them a certain size and shape?

A: Reducing a Leyland cypress as much as you want to do is fraught with problems. You can reduce its size by one fourth each winter but you must always leave unshaded greenery below each pruning cut you make. If the process seems like it would take too long, remove the Leyland and plant a more restrained evergreen like ‘Emerald Green’ arborvitae.

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