The name Leyland Cypress describes a sterile hybrid of trees propagated by root cuttings, in this case a combination of Monterey Cypress and Alaskan Cedar. This hardy evergreen is commonly used in privacy landscaping and as Christmas trees.
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Leyland Cypresses were discovered in 1888 when C.J. Leyland found six seedlings growing at Leighton Hall in the South of Wales. The two parent trees crossbred accidentally---a rare occurrence in conifers. Mr. Leyland continued to develop the trees, and in 1941 the first rooted cuttings arrived in California.
Leyland Cypresses are planted in rows as privacy hedges and singularly as landscaping features. This popular holiday tree grows well on Christmas tree farms in most southern and western American states.
Unlike many conifers, the Leyland Cypress has little aroma. Its dense greenery is feathery and soft to the touch. These drought-tolerant evergreens mature into a symmetrical conical shape, growing an impressive three to four feet annually in locations as varied as England, Australia and the southeastern United States.
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