I have leyland cypress and the top three feet of the tree is dead; what would cause this? Also, is it possible to move them after being planted for a year?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Faith: Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii) are susceptible to wind/ice and other storm damage. I cannot say for sure this is what happened to your evergreen without seeing it, but it does sound likely since the rest of the tree seems fine. These evergreens do have their share of problems, including bagworms and various fungal diseases. You can take a sample of the damaged part to your County Cooperative Extension Service for a positive diagnosis. The horticulture agent will be able to tell you if there is something else going on with your tree. You can potentially transplant your cypress depending on how tall it is. These evergreens have a shallow root system, so if it is taller than 15-20 feet it may struggle to support itself after being transplanted. 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. Keep these factors in mind if you end up moving your cypress.