If you’re searching for a fun and elegant way to draw more attention to your backyard or pond design, try weeping trees. With these types of trees, the branches will droop downward to create a graceful and whimsical look. This drooping look comes from mutations that you get through selective propagation where you take cuttings of certain tree species and graft them directly to the rootstock of a standard tree. You can’t propagate weeping trees by planting the seeds and letting it grow because the drooping look won’t carry through to maturity. When you start looking at weeping trees, you’ll notice that many of them have pendula or pendulum in their names, and this comes from the Latin word pendula. This means to hang down.
A weeping tree makes a fantastic focal point in your yard or garden because the graceful way the branches droop down makes it an eye catching addition. If you want a short tree, or if you only have a smaller area to work with in your existing landscaping, you should pick out a cultivar that is a smaller species. Whatever you want, I’m going to give you several examples of weeping trees you can plant in your own yard, and you’ll be able to enjoy their unique look for years to come.
1. Inversa Norway Spruce
The first weeping tree on the list is the Inversa Norway Spruce. One thing about this tree is that the height will directly depend on how well you train it. It needs a support structure when it grows like a larger trellis or stakes to prevent it from growing as a large, thick, sprawling ground cover. You’ll need to put in a central leader and attach it to a pole or stake to give the tree something to lean on. It works well in colder regions in zones three to eight as a focal point in your yard, and it likes full sun to part shade to grow. You’ll need a well-drained but rich and sandy soil, and the soil should be acidic.
Picea abies ‘Gold Drift’, 2019 photo by F.D. Richards / CC BY-SA 2.0
2. Weeping Eastern White Pine
This weeping tree works very well in your garden. However, you’ll have to add a sturdy stake if you want to have the tree grow in more of a traditional form instead of a shorter, multi-trunked shrub. Vertically, this tree can grow between 6 and 15 feet. You want to avoid growing it by gooseberry plants because gooseberry plants can host White Pine Blister Rust that can spread diseases to your tree. Plant it in zones three to eight for the best results, and make sure it’s in an area that gets full sun to part shade. The soil should drain very well, but it should be kept consistently moist to keep the tree happy.
Pinus strobus ‘Niagara Falls’ by F.D. Richards / CC BY-SA 2.0
3. Weeping Flowering Apricot
Anyone looking to add a splash of color and a little height to their low-maintenance shade flower landscape design should look at his weeping tree. It has a larger display of perfumed blossoms in the early spring months, and it grows semi-double flowers in pink and purple shades. You can grow it outside if you live in zones six to eight, and it likes full sun to part shade. It produces more flowers if you have it in full sun. It can get up to 12-feet wide and 10-feet high, and it needs very rich but well-draining soil. You will want to water this tree periodically to keep it growing strong.
Weeping Red Ornamental Apricot Flower by Michael Kim / CC BY-ND 2.0
4. Weeping Lindens
The weeping silver linden also goes by pendant silver linden, penchant white lime, and the weeping silver lime. This weeping tree is suitable for anyone who lives in zones five to nine to grow. You can get large species that grow very tall and wide, but there are also very small dwarf varieties available that make a good addition to your container gardens. They produce a very strong floral fragrance when they bloom in the spring and summer months that will attract a host of pollinators to your yard. The sun exposure and soil needs will vary depending on the species you get, so make sure you double-check the labels.
Weeping Silver Lime in Autumn by sammydavisdog / CC BY 2.0
5. Camperdown Elm
This weeping tree has a very dense canopy that gives you the illusion of a secret hiding place if you go underneath it. This is a short and wide tree that grows between 12 and 25 feet high by 20 and 30 feet wide. When the tree fruits, it will blow a ton of seeds around your yard for you to clean up. You shouldn’t prune the tree unless you absolutely have no choice because it makes it more prone to beetle damage. Grow it in zones four to eight in partial shade or full sun. It requires well-drained soil that is very rich and loamy, and it goes by the weeping elm, umbrella elm, or Scotch elm.
Camperdown Elm by Jimmy Emerson, DVM / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
6. Weeping Willow
The Weeping Willow is one weeping tree that will do wonderfully by your koi pond. It loves growing by bodies of water like streams, lakes, and rivers. They love to have very wet soil as long as it drains well, and the soil should be slightly acidic. You should plant it in an area away from your home because the roots tend to find the pipes and break them. It should also be in an area that has protection against high winds to prevent the branches from snapping. It can grow from 35 to 50 feet tall in zones four to nine A, and it requires full sun. The graceful branches will bend to the ground.
Weeping Willow by Marie / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
7. Golden Curls Willow
This weeping tree was originally thought to be a weeping willow, but it now has its own classification. It’s a nice pick if you want something to liven up your garden during the winter months in zones five to nine. The leaves and branches twist and curl to give it a unique look. Under the correct conditions, this tree can grow up to 30-feet tall and 15-feet wide. You’ll want to prune it aggressively in the spring months. It likes medium to wet soil that drains very well, and you should plant it in an area that gets full sun to partial shade. This tree also goes by the names Pekin willow, Rattlesnake willow, and Dragon’s Claw.
Salix matsudana tortuosa by Andreas Rockstein / CC BY-SA 2.0
8. Weeping Birch
This weeping tree species has light or white-colored bark with very bright yellow leaves in the fall months. It has draping branches that create a graceful silhouette in your garden. Depending on the variety you get, they can easily grow between 30-feet and 100-feet tall, so it’s important that you pay attention when you buy it so it doesn’t get too large for your area. This tree can grow well in zones two to nine, and it can survive in full sun to full shade. It likes deep and fertile soil that drains very well, and you’ll get slightly smaller and longer branches that arch out from the trunk.
Weeping Birch by Phoenix Wolf-Ray / CC BY 2.0
9. Weeping Crabapple
This weeping tree will give you grace and beauty in your yard all year-round. It produces a large amount of pink flowers in the spring months, and the flowers eventually give way to red or yellow fruits that feed the wildlife in the summer. They can cross-pollinate with apple trees, and it’ll create a smaller yield that is great for smaller operations. If you want to cross-pollinate them, the trees should be within 100-feet of each other. They grow best in zones four to eight under full sun. The soil should be well-drained, but it should also be loamy and acidic. This tree will attract pollinators to your space.
Weeping crabapples as arbor by Sassy Gardener / CC BY 2.0
10. Nookta Cypress
This weeping tree will do well if you plant it by your evergreen shrubs to add color and movement to your yard all year round. It can live for more than 1,000 years in the wild, and it’s common for many cultivars to have a pyramidal shape. You’ll get heavy sweeping branches with a central leader to give it a classic weeping form. It can grow between 8 and 12-feet wide and 20 to 30-feet tall when you plant it in zones four to seven. It likes part shade to full sun, and the soil should be kept consistently most and fertile. You can add liquid fertilizer or compost and mulch around it to boost the nutrient intake.
Xanthocyparis nootkatensis by F.D. Richards / CC BY-SA 2.0
11. Weeping Copper Beech
If you want this weeping tree to actually look like a tree when it finishes growing, you’ll have to train it using a central leader when you plant it. If you don’t, it’ll end up looking more like a shrub. It takes 15 years for this tree to grow six feet high, and it has a maximum height of 15 feet or less. You’ll get a mushroom shape with heavily weeping branches when it’s upright. It grows best in zones four to seven in full sun to partial shade. You can grow certain cultivars in hedge forms and trim them in the summer to keep them looking neat. They can produce small flowers in the summer if you plant them in rich, deep, moist, and well-drained soil.
Weeping Copper Beech by Lotus Johnson / CC BY-NC 2.0
12. Weeping Fig
The weeping fig or ficus plant is very popular in many households because it’s a low-maintenance pick that is very eye-catching. This weeping tree is slightly persnickety, and it’ll drop leaves if you don’t get the growing conditions right. If you live in a hot and humid climate like Florida, this tree can easily grow over 100-feet high, and it’s invasive. So, you’ll need a lot of room for this tree to spread out. Plant it in zones 10 and 11 in full sun to full shade. Make sure the soil is well-drained, and you’ll have to keep it dry or slightly moist for the tree to keep growing and stay healthy.
Ficus benjamina (Weeping fig) by Forest and Kim Starr / CC BY 2.0
13. Higan Cherry
If you’re looking for a weeping tree that produces a lot of flowers in the spring months, try the Higan Cherry. You get a host of cascading branches that produce five-petaled double and single flowers in shades of soft pink and white. They make a great food source for pollinators. It can get between 20 and 30 feet tall and 15 to 25 feet wide, and it’ll produce small, pea-sized cherries. Plant it in zones four to eight in a well-drained but moist and fertile soil. It likes partial shade to full sun, and it produces more flowers with the more sunlight you give it.
Higam Weeping Cherry by stu_spivack / CC BY-SA 2.0
14. Weeping Golden Ash
If you want a weeping tree to help transition your garden from summer to fall, look at the Weeping Golden Ash. It develops black leaf buds and yellow branches as it grows. During the fall months, the foliage will turn a deep golden color. You’ll get opposite paired and branching leaflets that are common with ash trees. They will drape down to the ground, and it can grow up to 30 feet all. The tree can also spread out up to 30 feet wide. They do best planted in zones five to seven when you plant them in an area that gets full and direct sunlight for six to eight hours a day. The soil needs to drain very well between watering sessions.
Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aurea Pendula’ by Tim Sheerman-Chase / CC BY 2.0
15. Weeping Japanese Maple
Very popular in the Bonsai world, this weeping tree will help you add a nice oriental flair to your garden or landscape. The leaves come in a large range of colors that includes yellows, oranges, and reds. This allows it to form a nice focal point wherever you plant it. It can grow between 10 and 25-feet tall and wide at full maturity, and the different species grow well in zones five to nine. It’ll do best in part shade to full sun. This tree is slightly pickier with the soil, and it should drain very well but be moist, rich, and slightly acidic.
Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum ‘Inaba Shidare’ by Swallowtail Garden Seeds / CC BY-NC 2.0
16. Weeping Mulberry
This weeping tree is much smaller than the standard Mulberry, and you propagate this plant through the process of grafting. If you plant seeds, you won’t get a regular white mulberry tree without a weeping habit. The female variety of this tree can produce fruits while the male doesn’t. It can grow between 6 and 20-feet tall at full maturity, and you should cut off suckers as you see them. Plant it in zones four to eight for the best results, and make sure it’s in a spot that gets full sun every day. It needs well-drained soil that is also very rich and moist, and you can mix compost in to boost the nutrient value.
Ali by Weeping mulberry tree, Skyview Lake Park, Norfolk by Ali Eminov / CC BY-NC 2.0
17. Weeping Katsura
This weeping tree has leaves that look very similar to redbuds, but they have an opposite arrangement on the stem. During the spring months, you’ll get showy purple leaves that will slowly change to green over the summer. The color changes again to a golden yellow in the fall months. It can get up to 15-feet wide and 20 to 25-feet tall when you plant them in zones four to eight. This tree does best in partial shade to full sun, and it needs soil that you keep evenly moist at all times. The soil should also very very rich and drain nicely between watering sessions.
November Morning in Our North Georgia Garden by JR P / CC BY-NC 2.0
18. Weeping Japanese Larch
To get new varieties of this weeping tree, you’ll have to perform grafting. It’s a very common type of deciduous tree, and this means that it looks like an evergreen during the active growing season in spring and fall before dropping the needles in the fall months. Eventually, the tree’s branches will drape down to the ground to provide interest during the winter months. It can get four feet wide and eight feet tall at full maturity when you plant it in zones five to seven. This tree does need full sun and moist to wet soil. The soil should also be slightly more acidic than normal to sustain it.
Nelson, Pete – European Weeping Larch by MPRB Forestry / CC BY-NC 2.0
19. Weeping Pagoda
This weeping tree is an excellent example of why common names can easily be misleading. The common name of this tree brings to mind the Japanese Pagoda Tree, but it actually originated in China and Korea. It won’t fruit or flower like the standard cultivars, and this allows the weeping habit to steal the show. It can grow 10 to 25-feet tall and wide, and it can add a touch of interest in the winter months after the leaves turn yellow and drop. It does best in zones five to eight in part shade to full sun. The soil should be a sandy loam that drains well and is very rich.
Weeping Japanese Pagoda by gr1fter / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
20. Purple Fountain Weeping Birch
This is a very fast-growing weeping tree that offers graceful branches and lovely serrated leaves. The leaves will stay a deep green throughout the spring and summer months before turning to a buttery yellow before they drop. The bark has a light peach coloring. This tree is very tolerant to heat, pests, and diseases to make it a very hardy choice. It likes slightly acidic soil that drains very well, and it can easily get between 20 and 30-feet high at full maturity. You won’t have to do much in the way of upkeep for this tree, but it does create a slight mess when the leaves fall in the autumn months.
Fagus sylvatica ‘Pendula’ 2015 by F. D. Richards / CC BY-SA 2.0
21. Weeping Redbud
This weeping tree will give you an easy elegance to your landscape when you plant it. It has pendulous branches that feature eye-catching leaves in the shape of a heart. During the early spring months, this tree will give you smaller pink blossoms with charcoal-grey stems to help set it off. It’s beautiful and rugged, and it can easily withstand slightly stronger winds without snapping. This is a fast-growing tree with a more compact design for smaller spaces, and it needs full sun to partial shade. The soil should be slightly acidic but drain very well when you water it.
Weeping Redbud by Kathryn Deiss / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
22. Snow Fountain Weeping Cherry Tree
For smaller gardens, this is another wonderful weeping tree that is very stylish and eye-catching. It has branches that will arch away from the trunk before falling straight down like a curtain. They’ll grow long enough to sweep the ground if you don’t make a point to routinely trim them back. During the early spring months, this tree will produce a large amount of white flowers that engulf the branches. The dark green foliage will take on orange and crimson tones during the fall months. It also has a unique shape to help catch your attention. Plant it in an area that gets full sun to partial shade, and make sure it has rich but well-draining soil.
Snow Fountains Weeping Cherry by beautifulcataya / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
23. Weeping Hemlock
Weeping Hemlock is a type of weeping tree that gives you a needled, weeping evergreen. It turn, you get plenty of character and texture when you plant it to help it stand out in your landscape. This is a smaller species that gets between four and five feet tall at full maturity, and you can easily use it as an accent plant. It works in shrub borders and as an informal hedge too. It does best in partial shade to full sun, and you’ll have to really water it often during dry spells because it’s not a species that can easily handle droughts without getting damaged.
Weeping Hemlock Sargentii? By Berellian / CC BY 2.0
24. Walker Siberian Peabush
This weeping tree grows best in zones three to eight, and it is slightly smaller at a maximum height of six feet tall and wide. This makes it a good contender for raised planter boxes in a small garden. They have deciduous leaves that are fern-like and small, and they’ll turn from deep green in the summer to a bright yellow in the fall. There are also bright yellow blossoms in the spring months to give you early pops of color. The tree grows very well in poor soil conditions, and it can tolerate a lot of salt and drought without a problem. It works well in shrub borders, and it develops pale green pods that will turn brown over the summer months.
Caragana arborescens – Karagana syberyjska by Babij / CC BY-SA 2.0
The 24 weeping trees I showcased for you in this post are a quick and easy way to add a lot of texture and points of color and interest to your yard or garden. They offer unique sprawling habits, and they come in a huge size range that allows you to tailor your pick to suit your space. You can mix and match several different weeping trees around your landscape to give you focal points, and they can provide a welcome interest during the bleak winter months in some climates. I invite you to take a look and see which ones will work best for your design.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.