It’s undeniable that the Leighton Green is a tree that can, quite literally, divide a neighbourhood. It’s dense foliage and vigorous growth rate of over 1 metre per year mean it is a great option as a hedging or screening plant. Leightons can quickly create a more private backyard, screen the ugly shed at the bottom of the garden or block the outside traffic noise.
However be mindful that same vigorous growth and the Leighton’s maximum height of 30+ metres can cause problems if the trees are not maintained appropriately, not the least of which might be upsetting any close neighbours.
But don’t be discouraged. Leightons can easily be maintained and shaped into a hedge of any height to provide privacy without blocking out the sun or the view for you or your neighbours. For example in this picture the Leightons represent the driveway boundary between two properties but they are kept clipped to a height of less than 2 metres.
Another great example is shown in this shot of our wonderful local Exeter General Store where the clipped trees provide a buffer between the courtyard and the road, protect the space from wind and are a much softer, prettier option than a fence.
The foliage of the Leighton Green is dense but it’s soft rather than prickly or spiky like some conifers and it doesn’t generate cones or pollen so there is no problem for allergy suffers.
Of course for those with the space the Leighton is also a great option. It is a very hardy tree so there are no height restrictions you can basically plant and leave them alone. They need little care or maintenance and even without pruning a row of full grown Leightons can create an attractive formal statement along a property fenceline or perimeter.
And no, I’m not going to enter the debate about ‘who owns the view’ – the ongoing argument that Leightons on private property block vistas that should be left for everyone to enjoy. That is for others to determine but in the meantime I will stand by my opinion that Leightons are a useful and adaptable tree that can add real value to a property if they are maintained appropriately.