Leylandi question

t hat ha Posts: 3

Hi there, we have moved house and along 1 boundary there is a row of leylandii. The plants are rooted in our side and form a great privacy barrier however the other side has maintained the tree and its neat but sadly our previous owners have neglected their side and its 5 foot thick and blocks a lot of light from our garden.

Question is; if we cut our side of the trees back to the trunk will it kill their side of the trees? Our thought is to plant some evergreen climbers up the trunks to fill any natural gaps. Thank you. 



  • First question to ask yourselves is whether you wish to keep the Lelandii ( they will require quite a lot of maintenance being rather fast growing ).

    2nd question - you say the trees are "rooted" on your side - if that is the case and the previous owners of your property were responsible for planting them originally then you are entitled to remove them or prune them as you see fit.

    3rd question - as you are newcomers so to speak and your neighbours appear willing to deal with the trees on their side, perhaps worth discussing with them whether they are happy to continue to maintain the trees on their side or maybe they would be happier with some other sort of barrier which would suit both you and them.

    If you decide to keep the trees in situ but prune them drastically, think about the look of them afterwards.  I rather think you would find it hard going to get climbers to perform well at the base.  The trees will tend to sap both moisture and goodness from the soil.  Ivy may do alright once you get it started - there are several variegated types ( both small and large leafed ) but you would still have to nurture them to get any benefit.

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,710

    Crikey , the dreaded 'Leylandii' again ! As I said on a thread the other night :- the scourge of many a garden and a source of bitter regret for many a gardener .

    If you cut them to the trunk they will never 'green-up' again ; as Philippa says , any climbing plants would need a lot of TLC (and plant food) in order to compete with those .

    Speak to your neighbours , but I would think seriously of permanent removal .

  • t hat ha Posts: 3

    Thank you both.

    Our neighbours very much want to leave them as they look good on their side.

    We were thinking if we cut our side back to the trunks and plant star jasmine to grow up the trunks and hopefully plug any small gaps that might appear on their side.

    TBH we are slightly pandering to our neighbours, as the trees are, in effect, ours to do with as we please but we dont want to move in and upset the apple cart. 

    Thank you again for your advice

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,914

    If you cut them back to the trunk, they will look very very ugly for years and years  And will not give you any more light in your garden. It will of course give you an extra 5 foot of ground to play with. How tall are they? If you are serious about cutting them right back, I would erect a 6 ft trellis in front of the trunks and grow stuff up that, making sure I enrich the soil first as much as possible. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Well I think you are being very kind. We moved into a house four months ago and there WERE....... 11 or 12 down one side of the garden,they had completely taken over,despite years of having the middles cut out by the previous owner. I just couldn't live with them taking over our quite small garden!  Fortunately our neighbour felt the same as us,they were blocking a beautiful view down the valley,so the man with the chainsaw came,and cut them all down,revealing an old dry stone wall. They will cost you money in the long run,as they grow so tall,blocking out light,taking nutrients from the soil as Paul said. There were no old birds nests in them,so even the birds aren't fond of them!!

    I'm keeping some of the trunks,drilling holes sideways in for bug homes,and maybe do some grasses and ferns to obscure them a bit.

    Good luck with whatever you decide,but give a bit more thought to getting shot of them!????????????

    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 20,945

    If it were me, I'd get rid.

  • Mark56Mark56 Windsor, BerkshirePosts: 1,653

    I agree with Hogwood, it will still be shaded from their side and look very ugly indeed. There is little chance of growing anything up the stumps because the ground will be dry and compact.. hard to enrich the soil properly at that point due to the roots still being present. It may also reduce the privacy element depending on how dense their side is. If you do get them removed, check for bird nests late Feb-August

    Last edited: 24 February 2018 17:11:26

  • You always see comments such as "fast growing", "lot of work" and so on when it comes to leylandii. This is nonsense. The plant gets bad rep when owned by someone who neglects it.

    I'm a professional and they need an annual trim, less than other hedges such as beech and privet. They are easy to keep the right size. They are not some form of evil triffid that causes neighbours to despise you forever. 

    OP, if I were you I would dig them out and replant either some fresh ones, or something a little more desirable such as yew, thuja plicata or similar.

    You can trim your side right back and not affect the neighbour's side, but trying to grow climbers up the brown branches will look horrible. As hogweed asks, how tall are they?

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 20,945

    I agree with glasgowdan. I planted a leylandii hedge at my last house and received nothing but praise for it. 

    Some folk let them get out of hand, some don't.

    Some dogs bite people, but it doesn't mean all dogs do. 

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