En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - June 29, 2011

From: Annapolis, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Hybrid Leyland Cypress leaning in Annapolis MC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a large, 9-year old Leyland Cypress that has tipped over. It is still green and growing but leaning slightly off center. It's about 20' tall. Should we stake it? If so, we'd like to do it ourselves, but how? It's huge!!! Thanks for your help!

ANSWER:

This tree has a very interesting story. It is a hybrid, which means it does not appear in our Native Plant Database, of two trees that are native to the North American Pacific Coast, Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey cypress) and Cupressus nootkatensis (Alaska cedar). It hybridized naturally because the two trees were taken to an estate in England and were close enough together to cross pollinate. Ordinarily, in their native habitats in the Pacific nothwest, they would have been 400 miles apart and would never have hybridized. Then, later, the resulting hybrid, Leyland Cypress, was exported back to the United States.

Here is an excellent article on Leyland Cypress. It's kind of small print, but we think it will be helpful to you. Many people look for a tree with a taproot, like a carrot has. They think that it will grow straight down and the roots won't get into their lawns or swimming pools. But if you consider, you can see how a root like that could cause the very problem you have. Taproot trees develop outlying roots to get more water and nutrition from the soil, but also to stabilize the tree in an upright position. It looks like your tree didn't quite get stabilized.

One note we saw on caring for this tree is that you should avoid growing in moist unstable soils - in windy areas the trees may blow over due to their rapid growth rate. Leyland cypress is a large tree unless constantly trimmed, do not plant too close to structures. That might have something to do with your tree leaning, the kind of soil it is in.

We want to point out that the parent plants of this tree are both native to areas completely across the United States from Maryland, so we are not sure how well acclimated your tree is to your soils and climate. Since we have no personal experience with either the tree or with tree staking, here is an excellent article on the procedure from Colorado State University Extension Tree Staking and Underground Stabilization.

 

 

More Trees Questions

Is a wasp colony in hollow in my oak tree harming it?
November 26, 2013 - I have wasps colonizing a hollow portion of a live oak here in my backyard in Austin ten feet from my backdoor. They are yellow and black banded, maybe an inch long. Two questions: 1. Are they hurt...
view the full question and answer

Willows native to Wisconsin
July 01, 2005 - I have a small garden center in the far northern reaches of Wisconsin....and I specialize in native varieties for up here. I also help folks with lake shore restoration and preservation. There was...
view the full question and answer

Hurricane damage on oak in Houston
April 01, 2013 - We have a very large oak tree that survived our last hurricane with lots of lost limbs. Then there was the drought. We have lost three large limbs on separate occasions on non-windy days. I love this ...
view the full question and answer

Looking for fruit and nut trees to plant in San Augustine, TX
April 05, 2011 - I am setting up residence in San Augustine, Texas on approximately 9 acres of land. We wanted to plant a few of each type of fruit and nut trees that would prosper in the area (for wildlife and for o...
view the full question and answer

Yellow in pin oak leaves from Allen TX
May 25, 2012 - I have two pin oaks and one is completely yellow - a sign of iron deficiency and the other is starting to turn completely yellow as well. I've a proposal for iron deficiency but it is quite expensiv...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center