How to Control the Height of a Leyland Cypress

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Leyland cypress trees provide an effective natural border or fence when you desire a fast-growing privacy hedge. Because these trees grow to heights of over 100 feet tall, homeowners who wish to grow smaller cypress trees must control the height. When you shear a Leyland, you keep the tree manageable in your growing space. Keep careful tabs on the cypress as it grows to ensure it does not overgrow its allotted space.

Things You'll Need

  • Lopper pruner
  • Hedge shears
  • Fungicide spray (containing copper)
  • Find the central leader at the top of the Leyland cypress tree. This is the main vertically growing branch, usually in the center of the tree.

  • Cut off the central leader with the lopper pruner, removing approximately 4 inches of height from the branch.

  • Shear the outside edges of the Leyland cypress after trimming the central leader. Remove up to 4 inches from the outside edges of the tree with the hedge shears. This shearing will keep the tree growing in uniform balance between height and width.

  • Spray the entire tree generously with the fungicide spray immediately after pruning to prevent fungal infection while the tree recovers from the pruning. Repeat the spraying every week for six weeks.

  • Repeat the entire pruning process twice per year in the spring and in the late summer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Begin shearing the Leyland cypress tree when the tree reaches about 4 inches past the height at which you wish to keep it.

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