I have many Leyland cypress trees on my property about 14 years old. Most are shedding from the inside out. Other than this they seem healthy. I read the post about another person who had the same problem. In your reply you talked about keeping the area under the trees free of fallen growth. How does fallen growth under the trees affect them? There is quite a lot of fallen growth under my trees. I assume I should clean up under the trees. Will doing this help save the trees?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Leon: It is perfectly normal that evergreens shed some of their inner foliage. This is especially true for the Leyland cypress because they are such fast growers that they need to drop some of their foliage in order to make room for new growth. From what you have described it sounds like this is what is going on with your evergreens. As long as it is just the inner and not the outer foliage there should be nothing to worry about. This is especially true if the rest of the plants look healthy. These plants do have their share of problems, including bagworms and various fungal diseases, but from what you have mentioned this does not seem to be the issue. Making sure the space around the plants is free of fallen plant debris is important in terms of not spreading any potential insect or disease problems. Dead plant material is an inviting place for insects to live and potentially over-winter. If there is foliage that is turning brown and falling from the outer branches you should take a sample to your County Cooperative Extension Service or to a reputable garden center for them to analyze. Leyland cypress are happiest when planted in full sun, at least six hours each day, and demand well-drained soil. If your plants are not growing in these conditions they may not thrive.