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Moving into a new house, with 6 tall leylandi across the back.

I would like to have them cut down to 6ft from ground, and also chop off all the leaves, so just leaving bare trunks in ground.

I want to be able to use the trunks to screw nails etc, secure fence against it etc.

I know that leaves won't grow back, but will the roots keep on growing ?  I want to use the soil for growing veg fruit and flowers.

Is this idea a possibility, or has my brain gone to fairyland ?


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,695

    The tree will not grow, the roots cannot grow without any leaves up top to provide energy.  It will take a number of years for the trunk to rot.  Just chop off any roots you find while digging. The plants will have impoverished the soil, so if you want to grow fruit and veg, you will need to add compost and fertiliser etc.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,159

    plants don't grow without leaves so you're OK there. But dead trees rot down eventually and take your fence as well.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • I don't think it's a very good idea, the Leylandi roots will have congested the ground around making it unusable and depleaned of goodness also not a good idea to leave the stumps and roots in it will become deceased and cause all sorts of problems.

    i don't think it would look very good either.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,896

    I would take them right down to the ground and put in a proper fence with proper posts.  Leylandii roots are shallow and rot quite quickly once the tree is dead, which is what will happen if you remove the leaves, so your fence will not last long as the tree trunks will become unstable when the roots rot.

    When you've chopped them down the soil will need lots of organic material, manure/compost and the like to improve the structure as Leylandii turn the soil beneath them to little more than dust.

    Then you'll be able to grow your veggies image

    Last edited: 12 May 2017 09:04:16

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    Best to take them all out. Either dig the roots out or get the tree surgeon to do it with a stump grinder. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,896

    Usually leylandii stumps are pretty easy to get out if you cut the tree down to about 4 or 5 ft then rock them hard the roots will loosen and you can use the stump as a lever and out they come!  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thank you so much for all your replies.  In times past, my husband would have dealt with them, but he died of cancer in January, and I am now on my own and 69 years old.  So it's gonna have to be the professionals, and I will take your advice, I'll get them out completely.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,896

    My condolences Thelma.  

    I hope you're able to get these sorted to your satisfaction ... if you don't have someone who can take these down for you, may I recommend the Trusted Trader schemes which are run by most local authorities where you can find reputable and fair tradesmen. image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • IamweedyIamweedy Posts: 1,364

    In 2015  we  cut the overhanging branches of our neighbours leylandii the other side of the fence. Yes it was drastic but we were sick of the wretched things really over hanging out over our bottom border  and we needed to replace a lot of fence panels.

    image Garden August 2015


    imageGarden  May 2017 .

    Late last summer, the neighbours over the two gardens we back onto, cut down their leylandii to about 4ft above our fence. lopping off about 5ft.  We now  have light and that border is in the sun most of the day now.  

    The montana is now growing well over the stumps after quite a lot of assistance from my efforts at bridging in the gaps with sticks and tying in with my green garden twine. I have managed to get the plant spreading well. It will really take off again  once the flowering is over.

    The tree stumps down the other end are now getting covered by a 2nd year rambling rector.  Which has a lot of flowers about to bloom.

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • IamweedyIamweedy Posts: 1,364

    Actually I find that training up and tieing in clematis and roses is really relaxing.

    I sit at the top of the ladder in the sunshine working out how to  send this shoot across that gap and use the pruned stalks of whatever I have been pruning, to allow the clematis frond to grow up where I want it to go.

    It will soon be out of my reach though.

    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

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