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Leylandii - keep or get rid?

If you moved into a new house and the garden had a couple of trees that look like  large specimens of leylandii that had been topped off. Would you keep them or get them cut down?

In our case the two specimens are in separate parts of the garden. They're not very tall but the trunk is maybe a foot diameter on one.

I was wondering whether to get someone in to remove them then replace with a more native species of tree. Worth doing and what to replace it with? Also how much to remove such established trees? I have no idea how much tree surgeons charge.


  • Very much up to you and what sort of garden you are after.  Gardens are very personal :)
    Check with local tree surgeons - most will come and have a look and give you a price - if they are good, they will also give you advice if you ask.
    If you decide to replace with native species, there are plenty of threads on here which will give you an insight on what to look for.  You will need to give info on your soil, aspect,rough location etc. to make it worth your while asking :)
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,172
    Also depends on the size of the garden.
    Two trees in a garden of a couple of acres is different to similar trees in a tiny estate garden.
    I would probably get rid in either situation!!
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • stephentamestephentame Southwest EnglandPosts: 58
    I've got rid of most of ours, replaced a leylandii hedge with an edible hedge, which was a great decision. I was surprised at how shallow the roots were, not as epic a task as I expected. I've grown to appreciate the uses of leylandii - trimmings are great to keep cats and blackbirds off newly dug or sown land, I get loads of trimmings to chip for paths, and with a bit of seasoning, the wood burns very well in the woodburners or the firepit. I couldn't imagine ever planting one though!
    Get at least a couple of quotes for removing them, prices vary a lot, and it might be cheaper if you keep the chippings, which can be useful (I used them for the bottom third of a raised bed)
  • gjautosgjautos BuckinghamshirePosts: 117
    We had one in our garden when we moved in. Previous owner had planted it next to a cooking apple tree. You could no longer see the apple tree! We got someone in to get rid. Only cost £100, money very well spent in my opinion. Added bonus, we now have access to lovely cooki g apples😊
  • It's a decent sized garden with a fair few trees already present. Some are quite big but not near the house so never going to be a problem. It's a reasonable sized garden and on a slope. Mostly deciduous tree cover with these two leylandii, although one is probably two close together. There's also a yew tree which I really like. Would be good to plant another near it if there's space.

    It's strange there's these trees because I have only seen them as controlled hedging. You really need to keep on top of them because if n they get too big you can't cut right back if you'll get to the dry, dear wood inside the outer green branches. These were specimen trees in that they were on their own in among the other trees. Not exactly what I'd expect to be what they're good for.

    I wonder what native species I could have. It has draining soil and as I said it's on a slope. The area has limestone bedrock and outcrops. Mostly tree cover in the garden and established trees. The area has a lot of native woodland even coppicing goes on. Yew trees are very common too. The area is known as one of the only places to have Britain's rarest native species, the lady's slipper orchids IIRC. If you know what soil that likes then it'll probably be close to it. I'll obviously include that information when asking about planting suggestions.

    PS the only plant I know I'm going to add is the gooseberry plant. I grew up scrumping them as a kid from when I was a toddler, cost me a few thorny accidents too! I've been told off more times for that than anything else as a kid. Btw can nicking gooseberries be called scrumping or is there another word? I eat more off the plant than cooked! After a year or two you'll see borders of shrubs, plants and gooseberries growing among them. IIRC they tolerate a bit of shade?? Possibly a few raspberry canes too. They're a woodland edge kind of a plant I believe.
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