Do you dream of relaxing under a weeping willow in your yard as you read a book or have an afternoon nap? A weeping tree offers gardeners a unique plant with impressive aesthetics. The long, weeping branches of these trees provide a coveted look to any garden.
Weeping trees are available in several varieties to suit any style of garden or landscaping theme. From the traditional beauty of the Japanese weeping cherry blossom to the legacy of the weeping willow, these trees play a role in nature and in culture.
Weeping trees come in evergreen, flowering, or deciduous varieties, and the garner has plenty of choice for selecting the right tree for their yard. Here are our top 20 picks for the best weeping trees for your garden.
Weeping Cherry Tree
Most weeping trees don’t produce any flowers. However, the weeping cherry is one of the best flowering varieties available, with a long history as a cultural icon. These hardy trees suit cold climates, surviving in temperatures as low as -20° F.
Some varieties grow tall, reaching up to 25-feet in height. However, gardeners can control the height through the growing space allocated to the plant. Weeping cherry trees are suitable for growing in full or partial sunlight, producing showy pink flowers. The tree only flowers once in the late spring, lasting for around two weeks.
This highly sought-after tree is a huge attraction in the garden, with the pretty pink and white flowers making it a spectacular ornamental. Many gardeners graft the shoots of the Asian cousin, the Japanese weeping cherry tree, onto the straight trunk of the weeping cherry. This process creates an umbrella-like appearance to the tree.
Weeping Redbud Tree
There are several varieties of the weeping redbud. However, the most highly-prized types produce deep burgundy-red foliage. This tree is native to North America, and its small stature makes it ideal for planting in smaller gardens.
The tree produces small purple-pink blooms in the springtime, with heart-shaped leaves. The weeping redbud will thrive in either partial or full-sun growing conditions, as with many other weeping tree varieties.
These plants are also one of the few species suitable for growing in colder climates. These trees are hardy down to -20° F, reaching heights of eight feet and a spread of up to six feet.
Weeping White Pine
This weeping tree is another evergreen variety suitable for growing in very cold conditions. The tree is hardy down to -40° F, with a beautiful structure that makes it an attractive choice for gardens in northern states.
The tree grows to heights of 12-feet, and up to 15-feet in width. It does well in both the full sun and partially shady conditions, as with all the other varieties of weeping trees. The branches of this North American variety feature long and soft needles that weep towards the ground.
Weeping White Spruce
This is another very winter-hardy tree capable of growing in temperatures down to -50° F. The tree gets to heights of 40-feet while maintaining a narrow structure that never really exceeds eight feet in width. If you have small spaces and plenty of vertical room in your yard, this cultivar is an excellent choice for your weeping tree.
These weeping trees prefer growing in the full sun in well-draining soil conditions. They prefer colder regions, and they don’t do well in warmer climates. The tree produces pendulous branches off the upright trunk, extending downwards, giving the tree a tiered appearance.
Weeping Norway Spruce
The Norway Spruce is a hardy tree that’s deer resistant, reaching a height of 15-feet. They grow well in all soil conditions but prefer planting in the full sun. These trees are winter hardy down to -40° F.
This tree is a cultivar of European varieties, and the gardener can train the spruce to grow in different shapes. The young plants often require staking to prevent them from sprawling across the ground.
Weeping Nootka Cypress
The Nootka cypress is a large and impressive weeping variety. These trees can reach heights of up to 35-feet, with a graceful look. These trees require planting in the full sun, and they are less hardy in colder climates compared to some of the varieties we covered so far.
This cultivar is native to the North American west coast, preferring the cooler climates of northern California. The tree has a pyramid shape, with needle-like leaves. The plant is relatively pest-resistant and disease-free.
Hemlock fans will love this variety for their garden. With the weeping variety, you get all the advantages of the hemlock in a compact size. The weeping hemlock has a small stature, growing to heights of five feet and a ten-foot spread.
The branches on this tree grow at a downward angle, making them a good choice for smaller yards. These evergreen trees thrive in most soil types, and they require planting in the full sun for the best results in your garden.
Cedrus Atlantica ‘Glauca’ – The Blue Atlas Cedar
The blue atlas cedar is one of the most popular weeping varieties to add to your garden. This tree produces tufts of steel-blue needles, with arching branches that make the tree a standout in the garden.
This tree is somewhat hardy of cold conditions, capable of thriving in temperatures down to -10° F. The blue atlas cedar reaches up to 60-feet in height and a huge spread of up to 40-feet. The boughs of the tree drape down to the ground, providing a curtain-like look to the foliage.
Weeping Birch Trees
The weeping birch is another great choice for smaller gardens. This tiny variety produces a clump of foliage on top of the trunk, which the gardener can train and contort to any shape.
The tree is cold hardy down to -50° F, reaching around 10-feet tall with a spread of up to 15-feet. The tree produces small catkins in a yellow color at the start of the spring, and the branches develop a fuzzy texture with non-showy flowers.
Weeping Katsura Tree
This model is one of the most popular varieties of weeping trees. The tree has impressive aesthetics for the garden, with the leaves turning a beautiful golden yellow in the fall. This tree also produces a unique caramel scent that makes your yard smell delicious, inviting pollinators in to check out the flowerbeds.
The tree is hardy down to -30° F, reaching heights of up to 25-feet, with a 15-foot spread. The katsura grows in all soil conditions, with shallow root systems compared to other weeping varieties.
The katsura also comes in male and female varieties. Typically, the male tree produces red flowers, while the leaves are green on the female trees. Most female and male types have a bluish tinge to the leaves, with an oval shape.
Weeping Beech Tree
If you’re looking for a large weeping variety, the beech is a great choice. This tree is suitable for larger yards and living spaces, with the tree growing up to 50-feet in height and a spread of up to 40-feet.
The weeping beech is elegant and stately, creating a focal point in the garden. The trees develop a mushroom-shaped canopy, covering the trunk with its branches. It’s a cultivar of the European variety and cold hardy down to -30° F.
Weeping Japanese Maple
This variety is a classic option that’s also highly sought-after by gardeners.
The tree’s branches arch outwards from the trunk, producing serrated leaves that turn a scarlet color in the fall. The Crimson King and Crimson Queen varieties are the best options for your yard.
If you’re growing the tree in warmer regions, choose a partially shady area of the garden when planting. These trees are hardy down to temperatures of -20° F, reaching a maximum height of eight to ten feet.
Weeping White Willow
The weeping white willow features bright yellow twigs extending from the branches, with a weeping growth formation. This tree is suitable for planting in most soil types, and it’s especially ideal for low-lying wet areas. Plant this tree in the full sun for the best results.
The willow needs plenty of room, reaching up to 75-feet tall at maturity. The trees are hardy in temperatures down to -30° F, and a native species of Europe. The willow doesn’t produce showy flowers, and it grows slender, drooping branches and leaves.
This needled deciduous tree features tufts of green needles occurring along its pendulous branches. The needles on the tree turn a bright yellow in the autumn, creating a spectacular display in the yard. After turning color, the needles fall from the tree.
This plant is another cold-hardy variety, surviving in temperatures down to -40° F. This variety is fast-growing, and it’s easy to train it into any form. The trees reach a height of eight to 12-feet, with spreads of up to 10-feet in width.
This beautiful weeping variety creates a secret enclave around the trunk, thanks to its thicker foliage. Think of it as your secret hiding spot in the yard. This tree is short in stature, growing to heights of 15 to 25-feet, with spreads of up to 30-feet.
When the tree fruits, it tends to spread seeds around the yard, and the gardener needs to clean them up. This tree also goes under the monikers of the umbrella or scotch elm. It has the potential to experience an infection with Dutch elm disease or bark beetles.
Golden Curls Willow
Originally thought of as a variety of weeping willow, botanists now believe this tree to be a standalone species, “Salix matsudana.”
This winter-season tree features branches that twist and curl, creating an impressive visual. This tree has several different names, including the contorted willow, Hankow willow, dragon’s claw, pekin willow, curly willow, and rattlesnake willow.
The tree reaches heights of 30-feet, with a 15-foot spread in optimal growing conditions. Gardeners should aggressively prune the tree in the early spring to inspire new growth.
The inversa spruce is another variety that likes to grow tall and thin. The tree has a cascading appearance, with needles drooping towards the ground.
This tree requires staking in the initial years of life to prevent it from falling over and spreading along the ground.
This weeping cherry is an excellent choice for the yard. The tree produces a cascade of branches, providing the gardener with a display of bright pink flowers with a five-petal design. The tree also grows a mix of single and double blooms, attracting pollinators into the yard.
This weeping tree grows to heights of 30-feet, with a spread of up to 25-feet. The tree also produces pea-sized cherries in the fall that the birds will feed on in the garden.
Weeping Copper Beech
The weeping copper beech is a slow-growing variety, with most trees reaching heights of six feet tall in up to 15-years of growth. Gardeners need to train the tree on a leader, or it tends to collapse and spread on the floor.
The tree features heavy weeping branches and a mushroom-like shape. The primary cultivars have purple and yellow leaves, with the purple varieties doing better in the full sun and the yellow types doing well in the partial shade.
The weeping crabapple is a graceful and beautiful tree for the garden. The tree burst into bloom in the early spring, covering itself with flowers. These flowers give way to fruit production, producing bright red berries for the birds.
The crabapple can cross-pollinate with other apple varieties, making them different from other apple tree varieties that are mostly non-self-pollinating. If you’re growing alongside other apple trees, plant the weeping crabapple within 100-feet to benefit from its pollination period.
The dwarf varieties of the tree are popular, producing small apples at the end of the fruiting season. The apples have a tarty, somewhat bitter taste, and they suit cooking rather than eating.