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 seeds 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 eye-catcher. 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


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

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

    The dense umbrella-like canopy of the Camperdown elm (Ulmus glabra 'Camperdownii') 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.

    • Name: Camperdown elm (Ulmus glabra 'Camperdownii')
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-8
    • Light: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil: Rich, loamy, well-drained
    • Mature Size: 20-25 ft. tall and 20-30 ft. wide
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • 02 of 19

    Golden Curls Willow

    Twisted willow tree, Salix matsudana Tortuosa
    pixedeli / Getty Images

    This tree was once considered to be a weeping willow, but botanists now classify the golden curls willow 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 up to 40 feet tall and 20 feet wide. The golden curls willow benefits from aggressive pruning in early spring.

    • Name: Golden curls willow (Salix matsudana)
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9
    • Light Full sun to part shade
    • Soil: Moist (medium to wet), well-drained
    • Mature Size: 30-40 ft. tall, 15-20 ft. wide
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • 03 of 19

    Inversa Norway Spruce

    Inversa Norway Spruce

      Annetka / Getty Images 

    The height of an Inversa Norway spruce (Picea abies 'Inversa') 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.

    • Name: Inversa Norway spruce (Picea abies 'Inversa')
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-7
    • Light: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil: Rich, sandy, well-drained, acid
    • Mature Size: 2-30 ft. tall (shorter than other Norway spruce trees)
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • 04 of 19

    Nookta Cypress

    Nootka Cypress Leaves in Winter
    ErikAgar / Getty Images

    Some of the common names for the Nookta cypress (Xanthocyparis nootkatensis) weeping evergreen suggest cypress or cedar, but it is 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.

    • Name: Nookta cypress (Xanthocyparis nootkatensis)
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-7
    • Light: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained
    • Mature Size: 2-35 ft. tall, 8-12 ft. wide
    • Deer Resistant: No
    Continue to 5 of 19 below.
  • 05 of 19

    Weeping Birch

    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 (Betula pendula) 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.'

    • Name: Weeping birch (Betula pendula)
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-9, depending on variety
    • Light: Full sun to part shade, depending on variety
    • Soil: Deep, fertile, well-drained
    • Mature Size: 30-100 ft. tall
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • 06 of 19

    Higan Cherry

    A weeping cherry tree
    masahiro Makino/Getty Images

    If you want a weeping tree that flowers in the spring, a weeping Higan cherry (Prunus subhirtella) tree 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 pea-size cherries that birds like to eat.

    • Name: Higan cherry (Prunus subhirtella)
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-8
    • Light: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained
    • Mature Size: 20-30 ft. tall and 15-25 ft. wide
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • 07 of 19

    Weeping Copper Beech

    Weeping Copper Beech

     Photos Lamontagne / Getty Images 

    Train the weeping copper beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula') 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 '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.

    • Name: Weeping copper beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula')
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-7
    • Light: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil: Rich, deep, well-drained, moist
    • Mature Size: 6-15 ft. tall
    • Deer Resistant: Yes
  • 08 of 19

    Weeping Crabapple

    Red Jade weeping crabapple in blossom
    nickkurzenko / Getty Images

    A weeping crabapple (Malus spp.) 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'.

    • Name: Weeping crabapple (Malus spp.)
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-8, depending on variety
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil: Well-drained, loamy, acid
    • Mature Size: 10–15 ft. tall, 8–15 ft. wide
    • Deer-Resistant: Yes
    Continue to 9 of 19 below.
  • 09 of 19

    Weeping White Pine

    Weeping White Pine

    F. D. Richards / Flickr / CC By 2.0

    The weeping white pine (Pinus strobus 'Pendula') is a drooping variety of the eastern white pine and 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.

    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.

    • Name: Weeping white pine (Pinus strobus 'Pendula')
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-8
    • Light: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil: Moist, well-drained
    • Mature Size: Up to 15 ft. tall
    • Deer-Resistant: Yes
  • 10 of 19

    Weeping Fig

    Weeping fig tree


    tc397 / Getty Images

    Many households have a weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) or ficus tree 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 outdoors 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.

    • Name: Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 10-11
    • Light: Full sun to full shade
    • Soil: Well-drained, dry to medium moisture
    • Mature Size: 60-100 ft. tall outdoors
    • Deer-Resistant: Yes
  • 11 of 19

    Weeping Golden Ash

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

    In addition to the weeping habit, the weeping golden ash (Fraxinus excelsior 'Aurea Pendula') 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.

    • Name: Weeping golden ash (Fraxinus excelsior 'Aurea Pendula')
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-7
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil: Well-drained
    • Mature Size: 15-30 ft. tall and 20-30 ft. wide
    • Deer-Resistant: Yes
  • 12 of 19

    Weeping Flowering Apricot

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

    The weeping flowering apricot (Prunus mume) 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.

    • Name: Weeping flowering apricot (Prunus mume)
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 6-8
    • Light: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil: Rich, well-drained
    • Mature Size: 10 ft. tall and 12 ft. wide
    • Deer-Resistant: Yes
    Continue to 13 of 19 below.
  • 13 of 19

    Weeping Japanese Larch

    A weeping japanese larch

    F. D. Richards/Flickr/CC By 2.0

    New larch trees of this variety are created through grafting. As a deciduous conifer, the weeping Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi 'Pendula') has the look of an evergreen during the growing season until it loses its needles in the autumn. The tree's branches eventually reach the ground and provide winter interest when bare.

    • Name: Weeping Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi 'Pendula')
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-7
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil: Moist to wet, acidic
    • Mature Size: 8 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide
    • Deer-Resistant: Yes
  • 14 of 19

    Weeping Japanese Maple

    Weeping Japanese Maple


    LianeM / Getty Images

    The weeping Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) is a staple of the bonsai world and 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'.

    • Name: Weeping Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9, depending on variety
    • Light: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil: Rich, moist, well-drained, acid
    • Mature Size: 10-25 ft. tall and wide
    • Deer-Resistant: No
  • 15 of 19

    Weeping Katsura

    Weeping katsura


    Mark Turner / Getty Images

    The leaves of weeping katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum 'Pendula') 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.

    • Name: Weeping katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum 'Pendula')
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-8
    • Light: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil: Rich, well-drained, evenly moist
    • Mature Size: 15-20 ft. tall and 10-15 ft. wide
    • Deer-Resistant: Yes
  • 16 of 19

    Weeping Lindens

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

    Weeping lindens (Tilia spp.) include the weeping silver linden (Tilia petiolaris), which is also called penchant white lime, pendant silver linden, and weeping silver lime. 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.

    • Name: Weeping lindens (Tilia spp.)
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-9
    • Light: Varies by species
    • Soil: Varies by species
    • Mature Size: 50-70 ft. tall
    • Deer-Resistant: Unknown
    Continue to 17 of 19 below.
  • 17 of 19

    Weeping Mulberry

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

    The weeping mulberry (Morus alba 'Pendula') is much smaller than the standard species, which can be 30 to 50 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.

    • Name: Weeping mulberry (Morus alba 'Pendula')
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-8
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil: Rich, moist, well-drained
    • Mature Size: 6-10 ft. tall and 8-12 ft. wide
    • Deer-Resistant: No
  • 18 of 19

    Weeping Pagoda

    Pagoda tree, Styphnolobium japanicum
    Flavio Vallenari / Getty Images

    The weeping pagoda (Styphonolobium japonica 'Pendula' ) 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 its 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.

    • Name: Weeping pagoda (Styphonolobium japonica 'Pendula' )
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-8
    • Light: Full sun to part shade
    • Soil: Rich, well-drained, sandy loam
    • Mature Size: 10-25 ft. tall and wide
    • Deer-Resistant: No
  • 19 of 19

    Weeping Willow

    A weeping willow
    Ursula Sander/Getty Images

    Weeping willows (Salix babylonica) 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 the ground.

    • Name: Weeping willow (Salix babylonica)
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9a
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil: Rich, moist, slightly acidic
    • Mature Size: 35–50 ft. tall and 5–50 ft. wide
    • Deer-Resistant: No

Learn More

If you would like to know more about different types of trees for your landscape, read on:

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. Picea abies 'Inversa' Missouri Botanical Garden.

  3. Xanthocyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula'. Missouri Botanical Garden.

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

  5. Morus alba 'Pendula'. Missouri Botanical Garden.