How to Propagate a Leyland Cypress Tree Using Cuttings

Updated on February 27, 2019
Casey White profile image

Dorothy is a former newspaper reporter and the author of several books. Michael is a professional landscape/nature photographer.

Leyland Cypress Trees Grow Quickly

You can see from this photograph what your Leyland cypress tree could look like in only a few short years of growth.
You can see from this photograph what your Leyland cypress tree could look like in only a few short years of growth. | Source

Cuttings Are the Best Way to Propagate

Because Leyland cypress trees do not produce viable seeds, the most effective way to propagate them is by rooting cuttings. The best months in which you should take the cuttings are January, February or March, and although you may be successful during other times, the percentage of cuttings to take root will probably be much lower.

If you don't have one currently growing in your yard, you can usually find someone who does who would be willing to give you a cutting. You might even find one growing in the woods somewhere, however, you need to remember that when you propagate a plant using cuttings, the resulting plant has the exact same characteristics as the mother plant, so make sure you select one that appears to be healthy with a nice shape. I like a Leyland cypress tree that has a nice "Christmas tree" shape.

Leyland cypress trees are extremely drought tolerant, which makes them a popular tree here in New Mexico.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The best time to take your cuttings is during January, February and March.  Look for some brown coloration on the stem and cut a section that is about 6-8 inches long.Your cutting should look something like this one.  The brown, oval-shaped fruit of the Leyland cypress tree does not attract wildlife of any kind.You will need to strip off the foliage from the bottom 2-3 inches.  After doing so, your cutting should look something like this.You will need a glass of water, some hormone rooting compound, your cutting and a small container filled with growing medium.  I use a commercial potting soil, but you can also use peat moss and sand, or other mediums.Dip your cutting into the water, then into the rooting compound and shake off the excess powder.  I use a pencil to make a hole in the growing medium, in which to insert the cutting.Lightly press the dirt around the cutting.Your cutting will need to be kept out of direct sunlight, and in a moist, humid environment.  If you don't have a greenhouse, you can do as I do and cut the bottom off a two-liter soda bottle.  It makes a great little homemade greenhouse!
The best time to take your cuttings is during January, February and March.  Look for some brown coloration on the stem and cut a section that is about 6-8 inches long.
The best time to take your cuttings is during January, February and March. Look for some brown coloration on the stem and cut a section that is about 6-8 inches long.
Your cutting should look something like this one.  The brown, oval-shaped fruit of the Leyland cypress tree does not attract wildlife of any kind.
Your cutting should look something like this one. The brown, oval-shaped fruit of the Leyland cypress tree does not attract wildlife of any kind.
You will need to strip off the foliage from the bottom 2-3 inches.  After doing so, your cutting should look something like this.
You will need to strip off the foliage from the bottom 2-3 inches. After doing so, your cutting should look something like this.
You will need a glass of water, some hormone rooting compound, your cutting and a small container filled with growing medium.  I use a commercial potting soil, but you can also use peat moss and sand, or other mediums.
You will need a glass of water, some hormone rooting compound, your cutting and a small container filled with growing medium. I use a commercial potting soil, but you can also use peat moss and sand, or other mediums.
Dip your cutting into the water, then into the rooting compound and shake off the excess powder.  I use a pencil to make a hole in the growing medium, in which to insert the cutting.
Dip your cutting into the water, then into the rooting compound and shake off the excess powder. I use a pencil to make a hole in the growing medium, in which to insert the cutting.
Lightly press the dirt around the cutting.
Lightly press the dirt around the cutting.
Your cutting will need to be kept out of direct sunlight, and in a moist, humid environment.  If you don't have a greenhouse, you can do as I do and cut the bottom off a two-liter soda bottle.  It makes a great little homemade greenhouse!
Your cutting will need to be kept out of direct sunlight, and in a moist, humid environment. If you don't have a greenhouse, you can do as I do and cut the bottom off a two-liter soda bottle. It makes a great little homemade greenhouse!

Things to Consider

Before you start taking cuttings from a Leyland cypress tree there are things other than the time of the year that need to be considered, including the age of the tree. For the most part, the most successful rooting is achieved with cuttings that are taken from a tree less than 10 years old. However, you could also take the cuttings from new growth on older trees. Try to select cuttings that show some brown coloration in the lower part of the stem.

By the time you take the cuttings, you should already have your containers set up and ready to receive them. You can begin rooting them initially in small volume containers (I use 3" round jiffy pots from Wal-Mart). They have great drainage and when the rooting begins you can always transplant the plant and the container into a larger pot.

Preparing the Initial Pot

Fill each of your containers with a rooting media such as a 1:1 peat-perlite mixture. You can also use a commercially-available bag of potting soil, such as Miracle-Gro Potting Soil, which is what I use.

Using a pencil, create a hole in the soil about two inches deep in which you will place your cutting, which should be about six to eight inches long.

Taking the Cutting

  • Strip all leaves from the bottom few inches of the stem.
  • Dip the stem into a glass of water and then into a rooting hormone powder containing 0.8% Indole 3-butyric acid (IBA), which is a formulation for hard-to-root woody plants. You will find the powder at almost any large gardening center.
  • Tap off the excess powder and place the cutting into your pot, pressing it lightly in place.

Cuttings will need to be kept in a warm, humid place (if you have a greenhouse, you're already ahead of the game). If you don't have a greenhouse, you can simply cover the pots with plastic wrap. My personal preference since I don't have a greenhouse is to cover the whole pot with a plastic soda bottle that has the label removed. It makes a handy-dandy little greenhouse in a pinch. I'm a firm believer that if you want to grow something badly enough, you will find a way to do it using the things that you have available.

Once the Cuttings Have Taken Root

New foliage appearing or the cutting showing resistance to a gentle tug will be signs that the cutting has rooted and is ready to be repotted into a larger pot or planted outdoors. Plant the cutting in the spring in an area that receives full sun and well-drained soil. Keep the soil moist until the plant begins growing on its own.

Our Leyland Cypress Tree

This is the Leyland cypress tree in our backyard, which we are cloning by taking cuttings.  It is a great home for many birds that depend on it when predators are in the area.
This is the Leyland cypress tree in our backyard, which we are cloning by taking cuttings. It is a great home for many birds that depend on it when predators are in the area.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Mike and Dorothy McKenney

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Casey White profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike and Dorothy McKenney 

      2 weeks ago from United States

      Thanks Rajan! Our Leyland cypress tree has been a blessing for our backyard birds.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      2 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Lovely tree and very useful instructions & photos to grow a Leyland Cypress tree from cuttings. Thank you for sharing.

    • Casey White profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike and Dorothy McKenney 

      3 weeks ago from United States

      We are just suckers for the birds and that's the only evergreen tree we have in our backyard so I'm getting more ready. We have hawks that frequent so the birds need all the shelter they can get. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      3 weeks ago from the short journey

      Thanks, thanks for this information. We need to put in a couple of evergreens along a back fence line, but want :) more.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)