19 Best Types of Weeping Trees

weeping tree in a park

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

The branches of a weeping tree droop downward, creating a graceful profile. This habit is usually a result of mutations achieved through propagation where cuttings of certain species are grafted onto the rootstock of a standard species. Weeping trees cannot be propagated by simply planting seed as the drooping habit will not carry through. Many weeping varieties have "pendulum" or "pendula" in their name, stemming from the Latin pendula, meaning "hang down."

A weeping tree is a great choice for a focal point in the garden because the unusual drooping growth habit makes it a real eyecatcher. If you have a small area for planting, or you simply prefer a relatively short tree, choose a cultivar that is smaller than the species variety.

illustration of weeping trees

The Spruce

Watch for Suckers

Since most weeping trees are grafted, you will need to keep an eye out for suckers that develop on the species rootstock, as they can sap energy and alter the shape of the tree. The best sucker control methods, in this case, are keeping the tree healthy and clipping off suckers when they first appear.

Here are 19 small and full-size weeping trees to consider.

  • 01 of 19

    Camperdown Elm (Ulmus glabra 'Camperdownii')

    Camperdown elm tree
    Garden Photo World/Georgianna Lane/Getty Images

    The dense canopy of the Camperdown Elm gives the feel of a secret hiding place. This small tree is relatively short and wide, typically growing to a height of 15 to 25 feet and a width of 20 to 30 feet. A lot of seeds get blown around the yard when this tree fruits, so expect some cleaning up.

    Also called Scotch elm, umbrella elm, or weeping elm, the 'Camperdown' cultivar has the potential to be infected with Dutch elm disease, which is spread by bark beetles. Do not prune the tree unless necessary, as this makes it more susceptible to beetles.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Rich, loamy, well-drained
  • 02 of 19

    Golden Curls Willow (Salix matsudana)

    Twisted willow tree, Salix matsudana Tortuosa
    pixedeli / Getty Images

    This tree was once considered to be a weeping willow, but botanists now classify it as Salix matsudana. This is a tree to consider if you want to liven up your garden, especially in the winter. Both the branches and the leaves twist and curl. It is known by many common names, including Hankow willow, contorted willow, dragon's claw, curly willow, pekin willow, globe willow, rattlesnake willow, and twisted twig willow. It grows 20 to 30 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide. The Golden Curls Willow benefits from an aggressive pruning in early spring.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 5-9
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Moist (medium to wet), well-drained
  • 03 of 19

    Inversa Norway Spruce (Picea abies 'Inversa')

    Inversa Norway Spruce

      Annetka / Getty Images 

    The height of an Inversa Norway spruce depends on how high is it trained. Without a support structure, it grows as a weeping ground cover. To encourage vertical growth, you must choose a central leader and attach it to a stake or pole, so it has something to lean against.

    This is one of the hardiest weeping trees and works well to create a focal point in colder regions. It takes some doing to keep it trained up, but is well worth the effort.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Rich, sandy, well-drained, acid
  • 04 of 19

    Nookta Cypress (Xanthocyparis nootkatensis)

    Nootka Cypress Leaves in Winter
    ErikAgar / Getty Images

    Some of the common names for this weeping evergreen suggest cypress or cedar, but it is in fact a conifer. Also called sitka cypress, yellow cypress, and yellow cedar, this tree can live for more than 1,000 years in the wild. The 'Pendula' cultivar has a pyramidal shape, heavily weeping branches, and a central leader that nods, accentuating the weeping form. It grows 20 to 30 feet tall and 8 to 12 feet wide.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 7
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Fertile, moist, well-drained
    Continue to 5 of 19 below.
  • 05 of 19

    Weeping Birch (Betula pendula)

    Thin birch branches with small green leaves against the cloudy sky.
    IrinaUljankina / Getty Images

    Birch trees are notable for their white or light-colored bark and usual rich yellow leaf color in autumn. The draping branches of the weeping birch tree create a graceful focal point in the garden. One common variety is Young's weeping birch, which is 'Youngii.' Other weeping varieties include 'Carelica,' 'Dalecarlica,' 'Golden Cloud,' 'Gracilis,' 'Laciniata,' 'Purpurea" (which, as the name suggests, has purple leaves), and 'Tristis.' Cultivars range in height from 30' to 100'.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 9, depending on variety
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade, depending on variety
    • Soil Needs: Deep, fertile, well-drained
  • 06 of 19

    Higam Cherry (Prunus subhirtella)

    A weeping cherry tree
    masahiro Makino/Getty Images

    If you want a weeping tree that flowers in the spring, a weeping cherry is an excellent choice. The cascading branches heighten the dazzling blossom show of pink, five-petaled single to double flowers which serve as an early food source for pollinators. There are many weeping cherries in the Prunus genus. The 'Pendula' cultivar is grafted to form a stable trunk with gently weeping branches. It grows 20 to 30 feet tall and 15 to 25 feet wide and has pea-size cherries that birds like to eat.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Fertile, moist, well-drained
  • 07 of 19

    Weeping Copper Beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula')

    Weeping Copper Beech

     Photos Lamontagne / Getty Images 

    Train this weeping plant to have a central leader if you want it to resemble a tree. Otherwise, it tends to form more of a shrub. The 'Purpea Pendula' cultivar grows only to about 6 feet tall in 15 years and reaches a maximum height of only 15 feet or less. In upright form, it has a mushroom shape and heavily weeping branches. Other common cultivars include 'Pendula,' 'Atropunicea,' and 'Atropurpurea.' The two main forms are purple-leaved requiring full sun, and yellow-leaved which thrives better in semi-shade. Weeping Copper Beech cultivars grown in hedge form should be trimmed in summer. Most cultivars produce insignificant flowers in spring, followed by hairy fruits in autumn that release an edible triangular-shaped nut.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 7
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Rich, deep, well-drained, moist
  • 08 of 19

    Weeping Crabapple (Malus spp.)

    Red Jade weeping crabapple in blossom
    nickkurzenko / Getty Images

    A weeping crabapple will provide beauty and grace to your garden throughout the year. In the springtime, it is covered with a profusion of flowers. These turn into fruits (often red) that add color and provide food for wildlife in the fall and winter.

    These trees can cross-pollinate with apples, which is important because most apple trees cannot pollinate themselves or even with other trees of the same variety. Using a weeping crabapple allows this process to happen without creating an overabundance of fruit for those who desire only one apple tree. For best results, make sure the trees are planted within at least 100 feet of each other. Bees will have an easier time the closer they are, especially with dwarf weeping varieties.

    Common weeping cultivars include 'Louisa, 'Luwick,' 'Molazam,' 'Red Jade,' 'Red Swan,' 'Royal Fountain,' and 'Weepcanzam'.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8, depending on variety
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained, loamy, acid
    Continue to 9 of 19 below.
  • 09 of 19

    Weeping Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus 'Pendula')

    Weeping White Pine

    F. D. Richards / Flickr / CC By 2.0

    The weeping eastern white pine can serve well as a garden specimen. You will need to add a stake if you want it to have more of a tree form instead of a multi-trunked shrub. It grows vertically to a height of 6 to 15 feet.

    Note: If you have currant or gooseberry plants, you may not want to grow eastern white pine. These berry plants can serve as hosts for the white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola fungus is the agent) and can spread the disease to the pine. Call your local extension office to see if this is a concern in your area. White Pines do not tolerate pollution well.

    • Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained
  • 10 of 19

    Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)

    Weeping fig tree


    tc397 / Getty Images

    Many households have a weeping fig or ficus for a houseplant. It has a tendency to be a bit persnickety and seems to drop its leaves often. Try to combat this with regular watering and avoid moving the plant from one place to another.

    In hot places like Florida, this tree can grow to heights over 100 feet tall and become a nuisance. Some areas classify it as invasive. Make sure you have enough room if you want to plant one of these.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 10 to 11
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to full shade
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained, dry to medium moisture
  • 11 of 19

    Weeping Golden Ash (Fraxinus excelsior 'Aurea Pendula')

    Fraxinus excelsior, more commonly known as the Ash tree
    Agenturfotograf / Getty Images

    In addition to the weeping habit, the Weeping Golden Ash features yellow branches and black leaf buds. The foliage turns golden as well in the fall. This tree has opposite branching and paired leaflets that are standard for ash trees.. The branches of Aurea Pendula often drape to the ground. Weeping Golden Ash grows to 15 to 30 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet wide.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 7
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained
  • 12 of 19

    Weeping Flowering Apricot (Prunus mume)

    A prunus armeniaca (Weeping Apricot)
    Harley Seaway/Getty Images

    The weeping flowering apricot will put on a glorious display of perfumed blossoms early in the spring. In addition to the pendant form, it has semi-double flowers. It can grow in either full sun or partial shade but will have the best flower production with more sun. It reaches about 10 feet in height and 12 feet in width.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 6 to 8
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Rich, well-drained
    Continue to 13 of 19 below.
  • 13 of 19

    Weeping Japanese Larch (Larix kaempferi 'Pendula')

    A weeping japanese larch

    F. D. Richards/Flickr/CC By 2.0

    New trees of this variety are created through grafting. As a deciduous conifer, weeping Japanese larch has the look of an evergreen during the growing season until it loses its needles in the autumn. The tree's branches eventually reach to the ground and provide winter interest when bare. It grows to 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 7
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Moist to wet, acid
  • 14 of 19

    Weeping Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)

    Weeping Japanese Maple


    LianeM / Getty Images

    This staple of the bonsai world can also add an oriental flair to your garden. With leaves in a variety of colors ranging from purples to reds, oranges, and yellows, the Japanese Maple is widely popular as a focal point in the home landscape. Some Japanese maples with a weeping habit include any with 'Dissectum' in the name, as well as 'Matsukaze,' 'Omurayama,' and 'Green Cascade'. It typically grows 10 to 25 feet tall and wide.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9, depending on variety
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Rich, moist, well-drained, acid
  • 15 of 19

    Weeping Katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum 'Pendula')

    Weeping katsura


    Mark Turner / Getty Images

    The leaves of weeping katsura trees are much like those of the redbuds (Cercis), as the genus name notes, but they are arranged oppositely on the stem. The leaves start out as purple, then change to green as the growing season progresses, and turn golden in the fall. This tree is often grown for its spectacular autumn color. It grows 20 to 25 feet tall and about 15 feet wide.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Rich, well-drained, evenly moist
  • 16 of 19

    Weeping Lindens (Tilia spp.)

    Small leaved lime (Tilia cordata) tree, detail on branches covered with leaves and fruits.
    Lubo Ivanko / Getty Images

    Tilia petiolaris is the weeping silver linden. Other applicable common names include penchant white lime, pendant silver linden, and weeping silver lime. It is suitable for zones 5 to 9. The little leaf linden (Tilia cordata) has some weeping cultivars that are also dwarf forms. Look for 'Pendula nana' and 'Girard's Pendula Nana.'

    In Europe, linden trees are known as lime. These are a favorite of bees and produce a heady aroma when in bloom.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
    • Sun Exposure: Varies by species
    • Soil Needs: Varies by species
    Continue to 17 of 19 below.
  • 17 of 19

    Weeping Mulberry (Morus alba 'Pendula')

    Weeping mulberry - (morus alba pendula)
    gorchittza2012 / Getty Images

    The weeping mulberry is much smaller than the standard species, which can be 30 to 40 feet tall. It is propagated through grafting, so you will get a regular white mulberry without the weeping habit if you plant the seeds.

    The 'Pendula' cultivar is a female variety and may produce mulberry fruits. The fruit can be great for eating and attracting wildlife, but it is a prolific producer and you may find its litter to be too much. If you want the weeping habit without fruit, choose the 'Chaparral' variety, which is male.

    Keep an eye out for suckers, especially since the tree is grafted with full-size tree rootstock. You can help control suckers by snipping off the offending part and keeping the tree watered and healthy. Depending on the graft location, the tree can grow 6 to 20 feet tall at maturity.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Rich, moist, well-drained
  • 18 of 19

    Weeping Pagoda (Styphonolobium japonica 'Pendula' )

    Pagoda tree, Styphnolobium japanicum
    Flavio Vallenari / Getty Images

    This tree is an example of why common names can be misleading. Despite bearing the common name of Japanese pagoda tree, it originated in Korea and China. The highlight of this variety is the weeping nature, as it tends not to flower and fruit like the standard species. The branches can also add interest in the winter after the leaves have turned yellow and fallen off. It grows 10 to 25 feet fall and wide.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 8
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil Needs: Rich, well-drained, sandy loam
  • 19 of 19

    Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)

    A weeping willow
    Ursula Sander/Getty Images

    Weeping willows are commonly found by rivers, lakes, streams, and other bodies of water. This riparian species loves wet soil, as long as there is drainage. For that reason, it is best planted away from houses, lest the roots find your pipes. Since the wood tends to snap easily, choose a location that is safe from high winds, if possible. This willow can grow 35 to 50 feet tall and wide with slender, graceful branches that reach to the ground.

    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9a
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Rich, moist, slightly acid
Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Dutch Elm Disease. United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

  2. White Pine Blister Rust. University of Minnesota Extension.