Formerly called the Murray-X, the Murray Cypress is a variant of the Leyland Cypress. Like the previously mentioned Leyland, the Murray Cypress’ primary function is for privacy purposes. This quickly-growing evergreen is ideal for creating privacy on property that can’t be easily screened by the height of traditional wooden fences. With a growth rate of three feet per year -- which is considerably faster than the Leyland -- the Murray Cypress matures at a height of 30 to 40 feet. Recommended spacing is 5 to 10 feet apart for planters who wish to create a sense of secrecy in their backyards. Another wildly-growing function for the Murray Cypress is its use as a Christmas tree. It retains its beautiful color year round, and its limbs are notably stronger than those of the Leyland. Plus, the Murray Cypress is able to withstand cold temperatures, surviving in brutal winds and icy conditions. It’s hardy in zones 6-10, meaning the Murray Cypress is capable of thriving in temperatures ranging from -10 degrees to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Another benefit of planting one or multiple Murray Cypresses is the tree’s resiliency to fungus. It resists diseases better than the standard Leyland. The Murray Cypress is gaining momentum as a landscaping giant. Whether the desired function for the Murray Cypress is privacy or holiday-related, this evergreen performs both tasks well.
Mature Height: 30 - 40 feet
Mature Width: 6 - 10 feet
Scientific Name: Murray X Cypress
Growth Rate: 3 feet per year
Spacing: 5 - 10 feet
Murray Cypress SpacingThe recommended spacing for Murray Cypress Trees is 5 feet apart. You can plant closer together if you want quicker privacy. Murray Cypress Trees typically grow about 8-10 feet wide.
Murray Cypress Planting Instructions
- Dig hole about 2 inches wider and deeper than rootball of your tree.
- Place plant in hole a fill in with soil. Some soils e.g. clay will need potting soil or fine mulch mixed in.
- Sprinkle one tablespoon of lime around the drip line of the tree.
- Water until soil is saturated; then gently apply pressure around the tree to make the mud "squish" around the plant.
- Carefully follow fertilizer instructions from figure below.
- Lightly mulch around tree to help with fertilizer run off and it looks great.
Murray Cypress Fertilizer InformationWhen looking for a fertilizer there are a few elements at which you should look. The first is make sure when fertilizing your Murray Cypress that you are using a slow release fertilizer. Sometimes this is called a controlled release.
Then you'll need to look at the formula of the fertilizer. It is done in this format: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K).
For the Murray Cypress we recommend that Nitrogen be high and then Phosphorus and Potassium be about half of that. Some examples that are commonly found in local stores are 12-6-8 and 14-7-7.
You should always follow the instructions on the fertilizer you purchase as they all work differently. Here are some general guidelines that you should follow.
- Fertilize your plants only 3 times a year.
- The best dates to fertilize are March 31, June 30, and September 30.
- Sprinkle around drip line of tree (DO NOT MIX IN SOIL).
Pruning Murray Cypress
Pruning can help make Murray Cypress more bushy. It is recommended that you disinfect your shears before you begin and even after each shear to prevent disease spread. You should prune dead or diseased limbs anytime of the year but you should consult your local coop extension for your local time to prune. To encourage thick bushy trees simply trim back the limbs that have outstretched the rest of the tree. Trim it in to the desired christmas tree shape.
Watering Murray CypressIt's important to always make sure to water any plant after you've planted it. Murrays can typically handle as much water as you can throw at them but they do not like to stay swampy. I good rule of thumb is to scratch the soil at the base of your tree. If the soil feels moist but not damp they do not need water. If the soil is dry and dusty you should give your plant water. In cases of a drought, it may be necessary to water the foliage and the tree itself 2-3 times a day to prevent them from overheating.
Murray Cypress Disease InformationCurrently, the Murray Cypress is free of any serious disease but they do sometimes suffer from cankers or needle blight. In the case of cankers, you should simply trim the dead limbs and make sure your plant does not get stressed from lack of water or heat if possible. Much like a person, stress is what can cause disease. In the case of needle blight, you will see green pustules towards the end of the stem and there will be yellowing on the branches. If you happen to have this problem simply spray your plant with copper-containing fungicides every 10 days.
Murray Cypress Winter CareWhile the Murray Cypress is a drought-resistant plant it is important that it gets water in the winter months. The southwest, in particular, can have very dry winters. If you are having a "winter drought" you should water your plants at least twice per month.
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