The growth rate of a given tree is classified based on the amount of vertical inches the tree grows per year. There are 3 growth rates given for trees: Slow, medium, and fast.
A slow growth rate indicates an annual growth of 12 inches or less. A medium growth rate indicates a yearly growth of 13-24 inches per year. The fast growth rate designation is reserved for trees growing at a rate of 25 inches or greater per year.
Leyland Cypress Growth Rate
Leyland Cypress trees are classified as a “fast growing” tree. Leylandii’s can often grow 3-4 feet per year (vertically). In addition to the vertical growth, Leyland Cypress trees also experience a lot of branching and thickening each year. Three or four inches of growth per year typically means you can expect 3-4 inches per month! That is very fast for a tree, and Leylands have a reputation for very fast growth.
Can you imagine in a mere 2 years you can have a 6-8 foot tree! Wow. No wonder Leyland Cypress trees are often used for Christmas tree farms, fast privacy, landscapes, and more. This fast growth is perfect if you want to screen your yard for privacy quickly, or if you want to block the wind by creating a windbreak.
One thing you want to keep in mind is that very small Leyland Cypress trees, or trees newly transplanted my exhibit slightly slower growth in their first year. During this time, the root system is being established into the new soil. Once the roots have spread adequately, the tree often grows rapidly.
How To Make Leyland Cypress Trees Grow Faster?
Leylandii’s will grow 3-4 feet per year if given the following three things:
- Adequate water: All trees need water, and Leylands are no exception. If Leylands are planted in a zone where little rainfall occurs, then it may affect the growth rate. Alternatively, too much water can damage a Leylandii and cause root rot or other diseases. How much water is enough? The soil should be damp to the touch (but not “squishy”). It is okay to allow the soil to completely dry for a day or two (Leylands do tolerate dry weather well). However, you should water your Leyland trees if there is an extended period of dry weather for maximum growth. This is especially important when the trees are newly planted into the soil. Watering the Leyland with the appropriate amount of water will also help the tree to resist cankers and other diseases.
- Plenty of Sun: Leyland Cypress trees flourish in the sun. So plant them in an area that gets full sun exposure all day for maximum growth and thickness. Leyland trees still grow in moderately shaded areas, however, it may slow the growth rate.
- Good Soil: Leylands need soils rich in nutrients for maximum growth. If you have a heavy clay soil, consider adding fertilizer after the tree is 1-2 years old to maximize the growth rate. Ideally, Leylands should be planted in fertile soil, that drains water well (well-draining soil).