Virtues: The weeping Nootka cypress (Cupressusnootkatensis ‘Pendula’) is an evergreen tree with lots of personality, thanks to its draping, drooping branches that would fit right into a Dr. Seuss book. This award-winning conifer makes a dramatic addition to the garden where it can add valuable winter interest.
Common name: Weeping Nootka cypress, Weeping yellow Alaska cedar
Botanical name: This tree can be found listed as Cupressus nootkatensis ‘Pendula’; Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’; and Xanthocyparisnootkatensis ‘Pendula’. Read about the dispute over this plant’s name at the American Conifer Society.
Exposure: Full to part sun
Season: Year-round for foliage and form
Foliage: The needles range from light green to dark gray-green depending on their maturity. The variety of colors highlights the tree’s form.
Habit: As its name suggests, weeping Nootka cypress has a gently weeping form, with its evergreen branches that dip and swoop downward off its upright trunk. It can slowly reach a height of 25 feet or taller and a width of 12 to 15 feet at the base. Its branches taper toward the top of the tree, creating a pyramidal shape.
Origins: ‘Pendula’ is a variety of Cupressusnootkatensis, a species native to streams and ravines of southeastern Alaska south down the coast through Canada and the US Pacific Northwest into northern California.
How to grow weeping Nootka cypress: Site this conifer in full to part sun in neutral to acidic soil with good fertility and drainage. It does best with regular moisture but once it is established it can cope with dry spells. USDA Zones 4–8.
Image credit: WWalas - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0