Managing Winter Injury & Ice Damage to Leyland Cypress

Leyland Cypress

An exceedingly common landscaping tree in Georgia (and across large swaths of the country), Leyland cypress is prized for its rapid growth and dense evergreen foliage, which translates to a planting nicely suited to forming privacy screens, hedges, and windbreaks.

But this hybrid cross between two West Coast conifers—the Monterey cypress, which has a naturally restricted range on the California seaboard, and the Nootka cypress (aka yellow-cedar or Alaska-cedar), a native of the Pacific Northwest—is quite vulnerable to damage during Atlanta winters. If you have one or more on your property, read on to learn more about that vulnerability and what you can do about it!

Leyland Cypresses & Winter Weather

The growth form and overall structure of the Leyland cypress makes it notoriously susceptible to damage from rigorous winter weather. The generally columnar shape this scaly-leaved conifer’s canopy takes as well as weak roots mean that loads of wet snow or ice glazes (such as we sometimes get here in Atlanta) can easily tear off boughs or even topple entire trees. Ice damage and snow-related breakage and treefall are very common wintertime issues in Atlanta and elsewhere in Georgia.

This problem of snow-, ice-, and wind-related breakage or toppling can be majorly compounded by disease and pest infestation, which are common in Leyland cypress. Fungal canker, root rot, and attack by bagworms can promote structural weakness and dieback that only enhance the odds that winter weather might shred, shatter, or fell your Leyland cypress. Leyland cypresses are very often planted too close together, with the resulting shading and excessive dampness only increasing the likelihood of fungal disease. This speaks to the value of siting your tree appropriately!

Turn to Excel Tree Care for Leyland Cypress Care & Atlanta Tree Removal

overgrown Leyland cypress growing over fence and houseBefore winter really gets cooking—or, failing that, sometime during this chilliest of seasons—it’s a very good idea to have your Leyland cypress or cypresses inspected by a professional arborist. Signs of disease or dieback, and any dead limbs or leaders on more mature trees that may pose a risk to property, can be identified and addressed before those ice storms and snowfalls tax the integrity of your graceful but all-too-often troublesome conifer.

Here at Excel Tree Care, we can perform everything from Leyland-cypress inspections and expert pruning to limb or whole-tree removal to protect your home and property. If your cypress does have to be taken down, we can also recommend sturdier and hardier replacements. We offer free evaluations all around North Metro Atlanta as well as emergency tree removal 24 hours a day and seven days a week!

Get in touch with the Excel Tree Care team at (404) 964-608 or by shooting us an email at!