There are two members of the Cypress family used frequently in home landscapes. The Leyland Cypress [LAY-land SIGH-press] is a handsome, hardy tree. The name Leyland cypress is used to describe a group of trees where all the members are sterile hybrids. There are no naturally occurring Leyland cypress. They must be propagated by rooted cuttings. This tree is a hybrid of Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) and Alaskan cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis). In 1888, six seedlings were discovered by C.J. Leyland at Leighton Hall in the South of Wales. The two parent trees were growing on the Estate and cross bred purely by accident. Intergeneric crossbreeding is a rare occurrence in plants and particularly in conifers.
In England, the Leyland cypress is used as an ornamental and as a wind break. In New Zealand and Australia it is used for wood products. In the United States, it has become a valued landscape plant and one of the most sought after Christmas trees in the southeastern states. These trees are usually available at choose and cut tree farms only
The Arizona Cypress (Cupressus arizonica) has become a valued Christmas tree. It is primarily available at choose and cut Christmas tree farms in the south, southwest and along the east coast of the U.S. It is also used as a landscape plant in that same area. The wood of the Arizona cypress is hard, heavy and durable. It has been used as fence posts and as timbers in mine shafts.