Growing Leyland cypress in Toronto *


What is your opinion of growing a leyland cypress in Toronto? Is there a reason why no local nurseries carry it?


Leyland cypress (x Cuprocyparis leylandii) is a fast-growing (up to 1 meter/year) dense evergreen with a distinct pyramidal form; it can grow up to 60-70 feet with a 45-foot spread. Tolerant of most soils, it prefers a slightly acidic soil that is evenly moist, well-draining and fertile.  It requires at least 6 hours of full sun each day; it has a tolerance for urban pollution as well as salt spray.

The reason that local nurseries don’t carry this tree is simply because the Leyland cypress is really not hardy in the Toronto area. It has a U.S.D.A hardiness rating of zones 6-9 (Michael A. Dirr) but plant hardiness zones differ in the U.S. and Canada.  (see this article for a comparison

Therefore, a Leyland cypress would probably not survive for very long in Toronto, especially if we experienced a very cold winter. Nevertheless, there is always the possibility with gradual global warming that someday in the future, Leyland cypresses may be easily grown in Toronto.