How to Grow: Weeping Evergreens

Listen to podcast in weeping evergreen trees:


It’s taken me awhile to appreciate weeping evergreen trees. For the longest time they reminded me of illustrations from a Dr. Seuss children’s book. But used properly, weeping evergreens can be an amazing focal point in your garden and provide winter interest.

Weeping evergreens usually start as a mutant downward growing branch on a regular tree. The branch is grafted onto a root stock and trained so the whole tree weeps. It’s a fun way to take an evergreen that usually grows 60 feet tall and turn it into a 10 foot tall specimen. There are a few different types we can grow. Weeping Norway spruce is the hardiest and easiest to train. The tree only reaches 4 to 15 feet tall depending on your pruning, tolerates part shade and is deer resistant. Weeping white pines have the characteristic long, soft needles on a tree that rarely climbs more than 15 feet tall. Shape your white pine by pinching the new growth or candles in spring. Weeping Alaskan cedar can grow to 20 feet tall with dark green, drooping branches. It grows best in full sun and likes humidity. It reminds me of the stunning Kashmir cypress I saw on Lake Maggiore, Italy a few years ago.

The key to success with weeping evergreens is where you grow them. They look best as a focal point in a perennial flower garden near your house or mixed with lower growing shrubs. Taller ones can be grouped to make a visual screen or some trained over an arch or arbor. They look great with snow hanging on their branches in winter.

Excerpted from the Ct Garden Journal