ragstone's picture

Leylandi or monterey cypress?

Observed: 16th October 2013 By: ragstone

Quick photo of big tree at the bottom of our garden - I had assumed it was a leylandii cypress, but when we put in a planning query about cutting it down (it is not getting any smaller) there was a comment back that it was a Monterey Cypress. How do you tell the difference and are Monterey Cypress of more conservation or biodiversity value than leylandii?

  • Cypress
    Confidence: It's likely to be this, but I can't be certain.
Species interactions

No interactions present.


landgirl's picture


Cupressus macrocarpa, Monterey Cypress, is one of the parents of the Leyland Cypress. Neither is native, both are commonly planted, and I can't imagine why it would be protected, unless it screens a neighbouring property. The differences between them are quite subtle.

ragstone's picture

still curious

Thanks - that's about what I thought - but very good to have the confirmation. What are the differences between them though? I have tried without success to find anything on this on the web.

landgirl's picture


Monterey cypress has the twigs spreading in 3 dimensions, while Leyland cypress has twigs mainly spreading in one plane, but some diverging. The female cones in Monterey are 20-35 mm and the cone scales have 8-20 seeds, while Leyland cones are 15-20 mm with 5-6 seeds per scale. Figures taken from Stace 3.

cricketmoth's picture


Some photos of the foliage close up should permit a more certain I.D.