How To Prune Leylandii

Pruning Leylandii will make them an asset to your garden

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Leyland cypresses may get a bad press because of neighbourly disputes, but they bring so much to the garden.

They have perfect evergreen foliage for bird shelter and nesting potential, they densely screen anything you wish, and provide classic structure to any garden. But yes, they do shoot up extremely quickly and need pruning frequently during the growing season of spring to late summer.

If your tree is young, and under one or two years or up to about three or four years, simply trim {:rel=nofollow}back the side shoots lightly, not the top of the tree until it’s reached the desired height. After that you can trim the top. All this trimming will keep the tree’s shape well, keep the size down and encourage denser growth.

If you have boxy Leylandii topiary, a good tip is to create a slight ‘A’ shape of sloping sides, so the sun can get to the bottom bits. Simply lightly trim the top and sides of your Leylandii frequently over the summer, but don’t go into old wood, as the foliage won’t regrow from it. Check for any bird nests before you start chopping away.

Whatever you do, don’t hack away, certainly not from the top – growth may be stunted or you’ll get bare patches.

Top tips for pruning Leylandii

Keep your garden tools in good condition
Keep your garden tools in good condition

Keep your tools ship shape by sharpening them regularly with a diamond file or whetstone. Badly damaged shears should be replaced. Remove rust with wire wool. Oiling them over with a rag reduces rust, too.

Use bike chain cleaner on your pruning shears. It’s the perfect way to lubricate joints, clean them, reduce friction and keep the mechanism loose. It also stops the stickiness you get using normal oil.

Use bike chain oil to keep shears in good condition
Use bike chain oil to keep shears in good condition
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