If you want a way to have some privacy from passers-by, you need to look no further. You only need to plant a row of Cupressocyparis leylandii trees along the border of your property. In addition, you can have a border that smells good and brings warmth to the colder months if you plant the Castlewellan Gold variety.
Castlewellan Gold trees are a variety of tree that is commonly referred to as Leyland cypress. The Leyland cypress was named after the Leyland family, who owned the Leighton Hall estate where this tree was first produced in the mid-nineteenth century. It is a hybrid and originated from cross-pollination between the Nootka or Alaskan cypress and the Monterrey cypress.
In the wild, cross-pollination between these two species of tree rarely happens because their natural ranges are so far apart. Where they have been planted closer together, however, there have been other, separate instances of cross-pollination that gave rise to different varieties. One of these is the Castlewellan Gold, which originally had the name Cupressus macrocarpa Keownii. The parent tree was found in the Castlewellan Forest Park’s arboretum, near the village of Castlewellan in Northern Ireland.
This cypress is an evergreen conifer. In summer its dense foliage is light green in color. In fall and winter, however, the leaves turn yellow or golden to bring some sunshine into your life.
The trees produce very dense foliage, with small branches and tough, scaly leaves. Cutting or crushing the leaves causes them to exude a smell that is clean and lemony. The density of the foliage makes these trees highly suitable for use as windbreaks, fences and hedges. You can even plant them in such a way that they will form a maze.
There are small brown, round female cones and yellow, oval-shaped male cones between 0.0625 and 0.125 inches in length. All Leyland cypresses are sterile because they are hybrid trees, so the cones don’t produce seeds. The only way to propagate these trees is from cuttings, so all Castlewellan Gold trees share exactly the same genetic characteristics as that one tree in Castlewellan where the variety comes from.
These trees grow very fast, which makes them a good choice if you want a shelter or windbreak in a relatively short time. Within a decade they can grow up to about 16 feet tall. Normally the trees grow to more or less 80 feet in height, but some have grown to 100 feet.
Castlewellan Gold trees are hardy and will tolerate many different conditions, whether these are dry and hot or windy and humid. They grow easily and readily in a wide range of soil types and pH. They prefer growing fully in the sun, but will do well in partially shaded locations too.
The best spacing for planting a number of Cupressocyparis leylandii trees depends on what you want to use these trees for. You can plant them quite far apart, but about 24 to 36 inches apart is a good spacing for hedges. To keep these hedges tidy and get the trees to produce new shoots, you should trim them every now and then. They make fantastic topiaries, so if you’re an expert with a pair of secateurs, you may end up with the most interesting yard on the block.