Leylands – Spacing for a Privacy Screen

Q: We want to plant quite a few Leyland’s at the back of our property to create a 100 foot long and tall privacy screen between us and the neighbors. If we start with twelve-foot high trees, what spacing should we use?

A: Landscape architect Bruce Holliday (www.landscapeplansplus.com) says the best spacing is two staggered rows of Leyland cypress planted fifteen feet apart. You could choose to plant a single row with a ten-foot spacing to get quick privacy but they will eventually crowd each other and the middle will be all brown stems. Bruce strongly recommends ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae instead. These fast-growing evergreens have better structure, less disease, and tend to not “brown-out” in the middle. If you use them, a ten-foot spacing would be fine.

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