row of mature Leyland Cypress trees

Emerald Green Arborvitae vs Leyland Cypress

Are you considering between the Leyland Cyprus and the Emerald Green Arborvitae? Or maybe you want to know how to tell the difference between these two popular plants.

In this article you will find everything you need to know about the Emerald Green Arborvitae and the Leyland Cyprus. And which is the right choice for your landscape.

Related: Privacy plants for patios

What is the Difference Between Arborvitae and Leyland Cypress

row of mature Emerald Green Arborvitae trees along driveway

The Emerald Green Arborvitae is a popular evergreen grown for privacy and to add year round color to landscapes. The Emerald Green Arborvitae grows in a tall, narrow, pyramidal shape. It is a popular choice for creating a natural fence line along property lines and to enclose yards. It produces green leaves all year round.

Related: Low maintenance evergreen shrubs

Plant Hardiness Zones: 2-8

Mature Height: 10-15 feet

Soil Type: Grows best in well drained soils.

Lifespan: Up to 25 years

Sun Requirements: Full sun or partial shade

The Leyland Cyprus is a fast growing evergreen that is used in many types of landscapes. It grows quite tall, and when mature can reach three times or more in height than the Emerald Green Arborvitae. It is a great option for creating year round interest as well as natural privacy fences for larger properties.

Plant Hardiness Zones: 6-10

Mature Height: 40-60 feet

Soil Type: Preference for well draining soils, but will adapt to most soil types.

Lifespan: Up to 25 years

Sun Requirements: Full sun or partial shade

Which is better arborvitae or Leyland cypress

Leyland cypress leaves
Leyland Cypress

The answer to that depends on what your goals are and what your landscape is like.

Both the Leyland cypress and the Green Emerald Arborvitae can be an excellent evergreen to add to a landscape.

If you are looking to line a driveway, or small or medium yard, the arborvitae is a great shrub. It grows quickly and it is easy to care for.

The height tends to frame medium and smaller yards better, and the scale is better suited for most driveways.

If you have a particularly large yard, the Leyland cypress can make a majestic statement. It grows quickly, to an impressive height. And it is also quite easy to care for as well.

When it comes to hardiness, the arborvitae is much better suited for cold climates. If you live in an area with cold winters, the arborvitae is the better choice.

Is Emerald Green Arborvitae a cypress

emerald green arborvitae being planted
Emerald Green Arbrorvitae

The Emerald Green Arborvitae is closely related to cypress trees. They are both evergreen conifers that produce year round color and interest.

How fast does emerald green arborvitae grow

The Emerald Green Arborvitae is a fast growing tree. Depending on conditions, they will grow one to two feet for the first few years, and up to nine inches per year until full height is achieved.

Emerald Green Arborvitae will reach heights up to twenty-five feet when fully grown.

How fast does the Leyland Cypress grow

The Leyland cypress is a very fast growing evergreen. Depending on the soil and sun conditions, it can grow up to two feet per year until full height is achieved.

The Leyland cypress will reach heights up to sixty feet when fully mature.

How to tell Leyland cypress from arborvitae

closeup of Leyland cypress leaves
Leyland Cypress

Both the Leyland cypress and arborvitaes grow in a pyramidal shape and produce color year round. Fully mature Leyland cypress trees are significantly taller than arborvitae.

While the arborvitae top out at heights up to twenty-five feet tall, the Leyland cypress can reach up to sixty feet tall.

closeup of arborvitae leaves

The Leyland cypress spreads wider than the arborvitae as well. With a width of between ten and fifteen feet the Leyland cypress is a wide growing conifer, while the arborvitae spreads from three to four feet wide.

The Leyland cypress produces foliage that is dark blue-green that is soft with pointed leaves.

The Emerald Green Arborvitae produces glossy green foliage that maintains it’s color all year round. It produces dense leaves that are scale shaped.

Bottom Line

Both the Leyland cypress and the Emerald Green Arborvitae can be a wonderful addition to your landscape, but there are some key differences you must keep in mind.

The Leyland cypress is best suited for larger yards or landscapes due to it’s impressive height and width, while the arborvitae can more easily be used in small and medium sized yards and landscapes.

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