I bought little liner leyland cypress and planted..they were growing fine but they are small and I accidently topped off a couple of them and since they are only one stalk at this point..did I ruin their chances for height? I know you top them when you get them to the height you want but 9″ is not what I planned…do I need to replace them?
thanks for your help and advice
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Mitt in Virginia: Topping any tree is not a recommended practice by certified arborists. It really is best to choose a tree that can grow to its mature height in the space where you want to plant. Topping is actually very stressful on trees and can make them more susceptible to insect and disease problems as well as make them unsightly. Topping also encourages growth that is weak andmore vulnerable to damage during wind and ice storms. Your Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii) are so young that as they put on new growth you may be able to choose another branch to act as the central leader but this will take time even though they are considered fast growers. For now all you can do is to make sure that they are growing in ideal conditions and watch for any sign of disease or insects. These evergreens are susceptible to bagworms and a few different fungal problems. Leyland cypress thrive when planted in full sun, at least six hours each day, and demand well-drained soil. Root rot can become a problem if the plants are exposed to excessive moisture. For the long term health of your plants it is best not to fertilize for the first year. This was they can become established with the nutrients that currently exist in the soil.