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Conifers/Leyland Cypress Tree Problems


Leyland Cypress trees to close to house
Leyland Cypress trees  

Leyland Cypress trees to close to house
Leyland Cypress trees  
My neighbor planted Leyland Cypress trees between our houses 10yrs ago. The trees are about 30 feet tall. The tree trunk is about 6 feet from the neighbors house (the branches are on the neighbors house) and about 10 feet from my house. There is not a lot of space between the houses. Can you tell me if the root system will damage my house foundation? My house was built in December 2000, by a reputable builder (Ryland Homes). I have a 2 story 4-sided brick house on a concrete slab. Will the roots damage my patio which is also about 10 feet from the tree trunk? I have noticed that when it rains water pools near the trees because there is no grass due to the trees blocking the sun in that area. The soil seems to be eroding. What problems will the standing water and soil erosion cause? Do the trees cause any other potential risk for my property? The trees are planted too close together. The branches are crowded between the trees. Any information you can provide is greatly appreciated.

Yes it could be a problem with the roots, not too much with the foundation but the patio could be the problem. Leyland has the reputation of causing problems near walkways and patios. Cypress trees have shallow root system and the roots will spread about 1 1/2 times the width of the branches. At maturity this may mean 20-feet. You can dig a trench along the preperty line and install a root barrier that will cause the roots to grow deeper or turn from the patio. This is too large a tree to be this close to the property line.

Here is a web link to root barriers.

You can ask your neighbor to remove the trees and if he says no then I would treat my lawn along that property line with a lawn fertilize called Weed and Feed. It contains a herbicide that will damage trees and kill the roots on your side. IF you have other trees nearby not wanting damaged do not use this product. The water pooling can be a problem since the grass is not growing well. You could put rock mulch along that area and this would help with any possible erosion and help move the water and keep it from being wet. The standing water is a good place for mosquitoes to breed also.  


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Jim Hyland


Registered Forester in the Southern US with 30 years experiance in managing pines. Expert in pine forest health from management to control of pests to ID of species.

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