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x Cuprocyparis leylandii (photo courtesy of Andrea Jones/Garden Exposures Photo Library)
x Cuprocyparis leylandii (photo courtesy of Andrea Jones/Garden Exposures Photo Library)

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Zone
Zones 3B, 4-24
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

X Cuprocyparis

Cupressaceae
Evergreen, Trees

A hybrid between Chamaecyparis nootkatensis and Cupressus macrocarpa, this conifer grows very fast—from cuttings to 15–20 ft. high in 5 years. It is most often planted as a quick screen. In gardens, it usually reaches 60–70 ft. tall by 8–15 ft. wide and can be pruned into a tall (10–15-ft.) hedge but will quickly get away from you without regular maintenance. Long, slender, upright branches with flattened gray-green foliage sprays give youthful trees a narrow, pyramidal form, though they can become open and floppy. It produces small cones composed of scales.

‘Naylor’s Blue’ has grayish blue foliage; ‘Castlewellan’ has golden new growth and narrow, erect habit; ‘Golconda’ has a more refined, formal pyramidal habit with bright lemon yellow new growth; ‘Gold Rider’ also has golden new growth and eventually forms a pyramid 35 ft. high by 15 ft. wide; and ‘Emerald Isle’ has bright green foliage on a plant 20–25 ft. tall, 6–8 ft. wide.

Will accept a wide variety of soils and climate conditions. It also takes strong wind. To maintain as a hedge, shear several times during the growing season, making sure not to cut into old wood. In warm-summer regions, loses stiff, upright habit and is subject to coryneum canker fungus, reaching only 30–40 ft. tall before dying from the disease.

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