For several years, the Leyland Cypress trees have been used extensively by homeowners in Georgia as fast growing “privacy” cover to block nosy neighbors. They grow quickly and sometimes 2+ feet per year. This fast growth is one reason for their popularity.
But good things have their downsides. Apparently, according to Georgia Master Gardeners, Leyland Cypress trees are better suited for cold and wet climates (like the UK and Canada), not the wet and warmer Georgia climate.
Problems developing include Cankers (a fungus that spreads to branches that turn them reddish in color); disease spores spread from rain, watering, or garden tools; and some root diseases that cause yellowing of foliage and may cause trees to topple over.
Some gardeners advise a mixed variety of green trees in separate clusters as cover such as the Arizona Cypress, Sweetbay Magnolia, Fragrant tree olive, Foster or Savannah Holly, and Wax Myrtle as some of many suggestions.
Note: I have seen thousands of Leyland Cypress trees throughout Atlanta real estate in my travels – this will not be good news to those who chose to plant these as cover.
Source: MDJ, 11-24-2013, 2E.