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The Leyland cypress, Cupressus × leylandii, often referred to simply as leylandii, is a fast-growing coniferous evergreen tree much used in horticulture, primarily for hedges and screens. Even on sites of relatively poor culture, plants have been known to grow to heights of 15 metres (49 ft) in 16 years. Their rapid, thick growth means they are sometimes used to achieve privacy, but such use can result in disputes with neighbours whose own property becomes overshadowed.
The tree is a hybrid of Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) and Nootka cypress (Cupressus nootkatensis). It is almost always sterile, and is propagated mainly by cuttings.
A large, evergreen tree, Cupressus × leylandii reaches a size between 20 and 25 m high, with its leaves giving it a compact, thick and regular habit. It grows very fast with yearly increases of 1 m. The leaves, about 1 mm long and close to the twig, are presented in flaky, slightly aromatic branches. They are dark green, somewhat paler on the underside, but can have different colors, depending on the cultivar. The crown of many forms is broadly columnar with slightly overhanging branch tips. The branches are slightly flattened and densely populated with scaly needles. The tree bark is dark red or brown and has deep grooves.
The seeds are found in cones about 2 cm in length, with eight scales and five seeds with tiny resinous vesicles. With the tree being a hybrid, its seeds are sterile. Over time, the cones shrink dry and turn gray or chocolate brown and then have a diameter of 1 cm.