Weeping trees and shrubs are varieties that have branches that droop towards the ground. A weeping tree or shrub is a great variety to add to your garden when you are looking for that special focal point. The softness and gracefulness of the dropping branches add a peacefulness and tranquility to the garden. Because they are so unusual, they also add an exotic feel to the landscape as well as a sense of softness.
Most trees or shrubs do not weep naturally and the weeping varieties are created by a mutation that is altered from the original plant. You cannot grow your own weeping variety from seed as they have to be hybridized in the nursery. Often to ensure survival, the mutated species has to be grafted onto a non-weeping variety root stock. The roots would grow like the normal species with the mutated weeping variety of that same species attached above ground via a graft. Because of this, it is very important to trim any root suckers as soon as they emerge. If left to grow the suckers emerging from the non-weeping portion of the tree would take over and cause the grafted portion to die.
Many local nurseries will carry at least some of the species of weeping shrubs I am recommending for your consideration below. When reviewing the tag if you see the name “pendula” in the variety name of the plant then you know you are purchasing a weeping variety.
Walker Siberian Peabush (Caragana arborescens “Walker,”) grows about two metres tall and wide. The small, fernlike, deciduous leaves turn yellow in fall, and it has bright yellow blossoms in spring.
Weeping Cherry (Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’) this weeping tree is at its best in spring when the pendulant branches are covered with pink or white flowers. It makes a graceful, elegant specimen tree for front lawns
‘Red Jade’ Crab Apple (Malus’Red Jade’) grows about 4.5 metres high as well as wide. Likes full sun and prefers well -drained soils, except very sandy ones.
Weeping white mulberry (Morus alba ‘Pendula’) The mulberry is native to China and is an important tree that is used as the primary food source for silk worms. It has gnarly branches and glossy leaves that add interest to any landscape. It is best grown in rich, moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade.
‘Tolleson’s Blue Weeping’ Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperuscopulorum ‘Tolleson’s Blue Weeping’) forms a small tree with long, cascading tresses of beautiful, blue-green foliage. ‘Tolleson’s Blue Weeping is a grafted form of Rocky Mountain juniper, a tough, North American evergreen which is well-adapted to cold winter temperatures and dry, rocky soils.
Canadian hemlock (Tsuga canadensis ‘Cole’s Prostrate’) hemlock is native species in eastern Canada but the ‘Cole’ variety is a dwarf used as a deer resistant creeping ground cover.
Remember, “less is more” when using a shrub with a weeping structure. Plan your design and save the drooping look for that special area you want to attention to in your landscape.