Controversial and unneighbourly, or exceptional coverage providing important privacy-- what's your view?
We attempt not to get too involved in the arguments for and against these fast growers, but have actually discovered ourselves felling and tough pruning a growing number of Cupressus ranges this year than we seem to have actually have done in previous years.
Leylandii grow to as much as 20m in height with a 5m spread at maturity, and have actually been the cause of thousands of neighbour issues. Because of their growth rate, they are best pruned regularly in a yearly cycle, which helps to avoid them ending up being tree "towers" that obstruct light, and cause a claustrophobic hazard in areas. High hedges legislation (info from your local council website) can be helpful with unsettled disputes.
A year's growth on a Cupressus tree might be as much as 15 cm or 6 inches. This can be removed with no damage to the tree, but beware! Cutting beyond the green face into the older wood is high-risk as the tree will not regenerate and this is what results in bald spots on your hedges and trees.
Once dropped, Cupressus varieties do not grow back, and so it's possible to live with stumps (as long as they're not a tripping danger) and not be concerned about having to grind them out.
If your Cupressus is left unpruned, a more radical management strategies is typically needed. Regretfully, single trees do not always look extremely natural when they are lowered in height, but this is frequently the only way to effect some control if the client likes not to fell. A decreased Cupressus hedge can be thing of sculptural accuracy when completed carefully; these are the mainstay of boundaries and surburban gardens up and down the land.