Few trees add such a touch of grace and mystery to your zone 5 landscape as a weeping tree.
With their long, sweeping branches and often feathery foliage, they truly stand out against the more traditional upright-growing trees. And what’s more, they keep that element of interest all year round!
Weeping trees come in many different sizes, colors, and shapes too, so you’ll be able to choose the perfect tree to suit your personal style and needs.
Here are some of the most striking weeping trees for zone 5 gardeners to choose from.
6 Zone 5 Trees With A Graceful Weeping Habit
1. Weeping White Pine (Pinus strobus ‘Pendula’)
A dwarf variety of the ubiquitous eastern white pine, the weeping white pine is an evergreen weeping species that will add a truly unique element to your property. It has a hunched, twisting form and bunches of needles that drape toward the ground.
According to the North Carolina State University Extension, this white pine species will naturally grow along the ground as creeping ground cover unless pruned and trained to grow more upright. These trees can be tailored to your preference – training and pruning in the early years will dictate the form of the weeping white pine in maturity.
Plant these weeping pines in moist, fertile, well-draining soil with exposure to full sun or partial shade, otherwise, they are not fussy about soil type. Mulching and consistent watering are both recommended. These pines are susceptible to wind damage, so choose a sheltered site for protection. They also have little tolerance for drought, salt, and heat.
Other Common Names: Weeping Eastern White Pine
Growing Zones: 3-8
Average Size at Maturity: 6-16 feet tall, with a 10-20 foot spread
Fruiting Season: Cones mature from Mid-Summer to Early-Fall
2. Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)
With their drooping branches and masses of long, lance-shaped green leaves, they add a touch of drama and even romance to any landscape. They turn a lovely yellow shade in fall and attract plenty of pollinators in spring due to their yellow catkins.
Typically weeping willows are used as ornamentals, and they look excellent and particularly striking beside a water feature such as a pond, lake, river, or stream.
They are also very effective in preventing soil erosion, due to their aggressive root system, which is a great utility of the species. The downside is that it can not be grown near underground infrastructure like sewage systems or pools.
Plant weeping willows in a location with lots of space, full sun to partial shade, and moist, slightly acidic, well-draining soil.
Other Common Names: Babylon Willow
Growing Zones: 5-9
Average Size at Maturity: 30-50 feet tall, with a similar spread
Varieties Suitable For Zone 5: Golden, Wisconsin, Thurlow, Niobe
Flowering Season: Late Winter to Early Spring
3. Snow Fountain Cherry (Prunus x ‘Snofozam’)
Naturally weeping cherries are a very attractive prospect for gardeners who want a weeping tree for their property. Not only do they have the signature graceful, droopy habit, but in spring they provide the vibrant show of flowers that cherry trees are so well-known for. And one of the most sought-after varieties of the weeping cherry has to be the snow fountain cherry.
This cherry tree variety earned its name from the way it looks when its stark white blossoms appear along every drooping branch in spring – like a snow fountain! During these weeks it looks more like an art piece than a normal tree, making it a natural focal point or accent tree for your home.
The snow fountain is cold hardy and relatively easy to grow, preferring moist, fertile, well-draining soil in a location with full sun. Mulching and moderate pruning after the tree has finished flowering is recommended.
Other Common Names: Snow Fountains, White Fountains Cherry, Weeping Higan Cherry Snow Fountains
Growing Zones: 5-8
Average Size at Maturity: 8-15 feet tall, with an 8-10 foot spread
Flowering Season: Early Spring
4. Lavender Twist Weeping Redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Covey’)
Discovered and propagated in New York in 1991, the dazzling Lavender Twist is a variety of the Eastern Redbud, a common tree found growing wild and cultivated throughout the eastern United States.
There’s no denying that the Lavender Twist is a unique and charming tree, with its umbrella-shaped growth habit, compact form, heart-shaped leaves, and the explosion of vivid lavender flowers that appear along its branches in early spring.
It attracts plenty of pollinators and is versatile when used in landscaping. Of course, it can be used as an ornamental specimen plant, but it also works well as a privacy screen, accent tree, container, or patio plant, and can be used in a foundation planting.
The lavender twist redbud is also relatively low-maintenance, as it is largely pest resistant and needs very little pruning. They should be planted in moist, well-draining soil with full sun to partial shade.
Other Common Names: Lavender Twist Redbud
Growing Zones: 5-9
Average Size at Maturity: 5-10 feet tall, with a similar spread
Fruiting/Flowering Season: Early Spring
5. Camperdown Elm (Ulmus glabra ‘Camperdownii’)
For a weeping tree with year-round appeal, consider the umbrella-shaped camperdown elm. This tree has a flat top with a wide growing habit and long, twisting, down-turned limbs covered in large, dark green leaves from top to bottom.
In spring it produces clusters of small, papery green flowers, in fall its foliage becomes a pleasing yellow color, and in winter the unique structure of its bare branches will draw attention in any landscape.
The camperdown elm was first discovered in Scotland in 1835, where it was transplanted and grafted to create the weeping cultivar we know today. Naturally, camperdown elms are most often planted as ornamental specimen trees. They look fitting in meditation gardens, zen gardens, children’s gardens, and woodland clearings.
If you choose to plant one or more of these lovely weeping trees, choose a location with moist, light, well-draining soil with an alkaline pH in a location with full sun.
Other Common Names: Scotch Elm
Growing Zones: 4-7
Average Size at Maturity: 15-25 feet tall, with a 20-30 foot spread
Flowering Season: Spring
Available at: Nature Hills
6. Weeping Katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘Pendulum’)
One of the most graceful varieties of katsura tree, the weeping katsura hails from China and Japan and is best known for its blue-green heart-shaped leaves, beautiful fall foliage that turns pale gold, yellow, and orange, and of course – its eye-catching weeping habit with branches that cascade downward.
In spring it also bears tiny red dish-pink blossoms, though they are not very significant. Its leaves even emit a soft strawberry-like scent, according to the Washington State University Extension.
Weeping katsura has a compact shape which looks fantastic in small residential gardens but also looks wonderful in groups. They are most often used as specimen trees in the landscape. Initially, they will start out growing in a pyramidal form, but don’t worry – as they mature their branches will begin to droop toward the ground.
Plant weeping katsura trees in rich, well-draining, slightly acidic sun with full sun or partial shade. Provide plenty of wind protection.
Other Common Names: Katsura Tree, Weeping Katsura, Pendulous Katsura
Growing Zones: 4-8
Average Size at Maturity: 15-25 feet tall, with a 10-15 foot spread
Flowering Season: Spring
Available at: Nature Hills
Add Some Flair To Your Landscape
Planting a weeping tree on your property is a sure way to automatically add visual interest to the landscape. Zone 5 gardeners looking for some extra ornamental appeal need look no further than the weeping trees mentioned above.
These elegant trees can add a burst of color, such as the lavender twist redbud, or can even be used for practical reasons, like the weeping willow. Whichever way you use it, a weeping tree has plenty to offer.
And if these weeping trees aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, consider a graceful evergreen for your zone 5 property.