Weeping Nootka Cypress, Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’
I’m not sure I can explain why, but the Weeping Nootka Cypress is one of my favorite evergreens. I guess because it can be considered a non compliant evergreen because it has it’s own style and it’s own personality. Like Willie Nelson. They need little pruning, however I do recommend pruning them when they are young so they get full and not completely spindly. I trust trim up all of the lateral branches once a year to maintain a uniform pyramidal shape. I also make sure the tree only has one leader. This is important with just about all pyramidal evergreens. Don’t let them develop double or multiple leaders. But after a few years I pretty much quit pruning mine.
If you Like to Garden, You Should be Growing and Selling Plants for Profit. Click!
The weeping Nootka Cypress thrives in full sun in zones 5 through 8. It does not bloom, it doesn’t need to. It’s plenty cool enough just doing what it does. When newly planted they need about as much water as any other plant, be careful to not plant it too deep or in a wet area. Few plants will survive in wet soil.
Weeping Nootka is one of those plants that has to grow on you like Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick. People who like one like the other. These are what I call plant lovers plants.
If you Like to Garden, You Should be Growing
and Selling Plants for Profit. Click!
A tree company in my area has found several of these for sale, varying between 10 – 20′ , but – they all have multiple trunks/leaders. One has a main leader, but several other competitive leaders which fill out a section along the side of the tree. Another has two distinct trunks. If I ‘trim’ the tree down to one trunk do you think it will recover or fill out properly in a few years? Alternatively, do you think I can keep the pyramid shape without too much work or risk of a tree split if I choose one of these? Thanks
I honestly don’t know. If the top shades the bottom a lot, the bottom part would not fill in properly. I’d keep searching for a single stem tree.
Mike, Do you have a weeping Nooka for sale?
Sorry, I do not. Maybe Springlake in Perry.
I bought a 5.5 ft. tall Nootka from Monrovia through my local nursery/garden center in October 2020 for $300. By far my most expensive planting and it went smack dab in the middle of my front yard where the neighborhood can appreciate it and I can watch it grow. Right next to my 35 ft. weeping purple beech (which I affectionately named Sweet’ums). It’s doing really great and now a year later it’s an incredible 8 ft. tall. It gets very little direct sun. Maybe 3 hours if it’s lucky. But we’ve been getting a huge amount of rain in Connecticut this year and it’s often been overcast for days. One storm dumped 8.5 inches! It’s really a lovely, full tree and only a couple small inner branches turned brown, but they seemingly disappeared after a couple weeks and now you can’t even tell. The foliage is dark green throughout but I love the way the shaded inner branches contrast with brighter drooping limbs. I was considering buying on-line which I often do, mainly for the variety available there. But some of those looked pretty spindly. This one was in stock so I could see it was worth the extra bucks.
You made a good choice. Plants sold online are usually healthy, but often far smaller than you think you are going to get.
Just snagged some Nootka Cyprus berries from a tree in a local park. Would love to experiment with drying and planting these berries. Got any tips or tricks for an aspiring green thumb?
I really don’t, google seed germination database and you should find some info.
What do you use for Bagworms? Is there a preventative action?
Sorry Michael, I really can’t help with this.
Dawn soap and water
Adam H says
Great article! I just purchased two of these (soon a third) for privacy. How far apart should I plant them? Do you recommend anything (attractive, for privacy) I could plant between them while I wait for them to mature and grow? Thanks again!
Realistically? No closer together than 5′ but as far apart as 10′ Between but somewhat in front of them? A tall ornamental grass.
Just purchase a weeping notka cypress. After a few weeks the inside foolage is turning yellow… don’t know why.
Some say to warer daily, some say to water once a week…
Watering once a week is plenty. Make sure it’s not planted too deep and don’t over water it. Do not fertilize it. Brown foliage inside the plant isn’t a concern. When the tips, new growth start failing the plant is in trouble. All evergreens lose needles on the inside.
Dianne S Ross says
my beautiful tree started loosing the new growth to the point the ground is totally covered……I love my tree what do I do we live in Howell Michigan
If the tree is still nice and green I would not be concerned about some needle drop from the inside of the tree. If the tree is brown that a huge problem and probably too late to save it. Only thing that comes to mind is it’s too wet or planted too deep. I don’t know how long you’ve had it.
Jean Kruger says
Dear Mike Says:
I appreciate all your information. I am wanting to buy a Chaemacyparis Nootkatensis Pendular, like you are showing here. Where to buy?? Are you selling any?
I’d like to have a few at the nursery this spring, but if I do find them I will not be shipping any. You really have to look around, difficult to find.
Dave, I am trying to locate the Nootkatensis to buy. Having a hard time. Do you sell them?
I don’t sell them, I might have a few at the nursery in the spring, but not to be shipped.
Mike, I just bought two of these for my backyard. How close can I place it to the corners of my house?
Also, do you offer a pruning video on Utube? I want mine to grow up to look like yours.
I would keep them at least 8′ from the corner of the house. Pruning? Sounds crazy, but trim them like a Christmas tree and they’ll grow nice and compact but still weep.
Judy johnson says
Where do you get this tree
Maybe online, probably pricey, maybe at a local, full service garden center. You’ll have to call around.
I have a 25 year old Weeping Nootka. This winter with high winds and a lot of rain it is coming out of the ground. I don’t know how to save it. Do you have any suggestions.
About all you can do is get a rope on it, pull it back up right and secure with ropes. Might have to put some soil over the roots. Mine did that a few years ago and it’s been fine. They catch wind like an umbrella.
Teresa Norris-Phillips says
I have a beautiful Weeping Nootka Cypress that is standing in the way of a home addition, so it’s going to have to go. It’s about 20 feet tall and although it has two trunks, you can’t tell it unless you look underneath the branches. It has only one leader.
A large-tree mover has looked at it and thinks he could successfully transplant it to another location–but no guarantees. And the whole operation is certainly not cheap. What do you think the odds are that the transplant will be successful. We would schedule it for early December, and we live in a suburb of Philadelphia.
As long as the company has the right size spade need to move a tree that large, and I’m assuming they do, I would expect the tree to transplant fine given that you are doing it in December. Large nursery next to me moves some large trees during the growing season with a large spade like that. I wouldn’t have that it possible when trees are in leaf but the manager told me that with a root ball that size they transplant just fine. So I think you’ll be okay. But like the contractor, I can’t promise that.
Charles N says
There is a nnotka planted directly over a leach line which is about 40 inches below the trunk on our proerty. I don’t know if the tree’s root (taproot???) will reach the leach line. If so, it needs to move. Thoughts?
That could be an issue. Not necessarily a tap root, but roots in general. But Weeping Nootkas don’t like to be moved ever, so that could kill the tree.
Karen Brooks says
Mike, this picture of a Weeping Nootka Cypress is beautiful. The 6 -8 ft samples at my local nursery seem awfully spindly with fewer branches. Is there a trick to making it nice and full like this, or am I seeing some different kind of tree?
There are a couple of other weeping evergreens that “look like” Weeping Nootka Cypress. Just make sure the ones that you are looking at are Weeping Nootka. It’s normal for them to be tall and spindly when young. Just trim it a little each year, cutting a few inches off the tips of the lateral branches and the tree will get nice and full.
Hi Mike, Is it possible to transplant a Weeping Nootka Cypress? I have one in the front gets good light. It has had some years where I think it has struggled due to drainage issues and it not liking to be so wet I think. it is about 12 feet tall it doesn’t have the sweeping branches like yours possible because of being in too tight a space. Could I send picture?? It does look healthy. Place I want to place it would have more room & 6 + hrs sun but will it never branch out because I didn’t know to prune it.
You can transplant it but I wouldn’t do so until the tree is dormant, after Thanksgiving. That would be the ideal time to move it. All 12″ of root ball for each one inch of trunk caliper.
Hi Mike, I really need your help with our cypress. It was planted 2 years ago,it stands about 12 feet,but turns yellow and is not filling out. We are really disappointed with it. What do you recommend to at least give it a fighting chance. We water it, but for some reason it will not take. Thx for your time. Jodie
My friend is giving me her weeping cypress from her front lawn. It’s about 8 feet tall and 3 feet wide.
Any advice on how I can do this & keep the pretty tree alive & doing well?
Thanks in advance!
Depending on where you live it might be too late to dig evergreens in your area. Here in northern Ohio we probably just have a few days at best left to dig. Southern Ohio? It’s too late. Once the tree starts growing you need to wait until fall to move it in order move it safely. Once moved, just be sure to not plant it too deep.
angela evans says
I live in zone 5 – central Indiana. My blue spruces do great! My Bradford Pear has the start of a split so it’s got to go. I would love to try the nootka cypress. Not a huge front yard – but it will get full sun. Too big for the area? I want a full one & will not try to keep it thin.
Full sun is good. If you have an area for the tree that is 15′ by 15′ that should be plenty.
I have Alaskan weeping cedar nootkas. They look like the same tree. I’m in zone 5 and these trees flourish.
renee pearman says
My name is Renee, I live in North Central Mass….zone 5-B and I’m on this site because I was at our local ice cream shop last week when It was kinda warm out, sitting outside when I noticed what a gorgeous tree I was looking at. I swear it is prettier that the best one I’ve seen on line. The sweeping branches reminded me of ladies ball gowns.
Did you buy and plant yours or did they come with the property???
I’ll check again but I swear they were growing right up close and personal to a swampy, cattail piece of ground.
I have. 6 of theses trees in my yard. They’re absolutely gorgeous, graceful trees. This winter has been very bad. Our deer are starving. I’ve had these trees for 14 yrs and this year, for the 1st time, the deer have eaten the bottom sprays of green up about 5 ft. The branches are still there. I’m hoping they will re grow the sprays on the bottom branches. Does anyone know if they will grow back?
Chances are new growth will come out and weep down to cover the deer damage. It really depends on how bad the damage is.
We have this cypress and last year it started to turn yellow in the bottom third of the tree and this year 2/3 of the tree turned yellow / brown we have dirtied it with Holly acid food and use insect spray on it . It’s so sad looking
My tree is 12 years old and is turning brown in the center and dropping needles. I sprayed the ground with a fungicide . What fertilizer should I use?
Brown needles on the inside of any evergreen is pretty much normal. The needles will drop and pretty much fall off the tree. This is something that happens each year. I don’t fertilize the plants in my landscape at all. They shouldn’t need it.
Are you implying that Willie Nelson also needs a little pruning?!? lol!
Dave, Willie is fine just the way he is. The clean cut look didn’t work for him.
Mike, The Nootka is one of my favorites too. When I took Hort. I used it in many of my landscape designs. Beautiful!
I live in Central Florida and I am tired of planting trees and have them die in the Winter.(Winter in Florida?) Who would have known.
Well, I ordered one of your air layering projects and looking forward to get started rooting. Can’t deceide which tree/plant to do first.
I like the Weeping Nootka Cypress. It’s kind of surreal.
I wonder if they’ll grow here. Phoenix might be too hot for it.
I have a harry Louder tree and love this one as well , where can I get a start?
Joanne Cole says
That is one beautiful tree. I would love to have one in my yard.Have never seen one before. Do not know if they grow here in the Southwest though.
Woodworkers love it too for its beautiful yellow wood which is fairly hard and nice to work with. In Oregon it is known as Alaska Yellow Ceder. Canadians call it Nutka Cypress or Yellow Cypress.
I think this is extremely beautiful. Wish I had one.
I have one word… Beautiful!
don salter says
say, somebody evolve one to grow in Wisconsin!
Can this plant adapt to hot Tx weather?
Marianne, they do well into zone 8. Not sure what zone you are in. Zone map for the United States:
Zone map for Canada:
Suzette Eisnor says
These are just the most beautiful evergreen! I do wish I had the right place for one.It deserves to be in a location that can show it off!”Scary”, Never!!”Gorgeous”Yes!!As one other person said, they can be pretty pricy around here also, but if I had the proper place ,I’m not sure that would deter me!
Where can I buy the plants that you advertise?
Martiska, At this point I am not selling any plants, but many of our backyard growers have the plants that I mention for sale. See if there is anybody in your area. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/category/backyard-nurseries/
Kathy Manning says
my neighbor has this tree and it is beautiful. I know that it’s at least 25yrs. old.
Leonard Johnson says
I’ve seen depressing and I’ve seen really ugly but this is the first time I’ve seen them together!
Leonard, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
when and how do you make cuttings for this tree? thanks,
Cuttings would be difficult, but you can try in July using the http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm. They are usually grafted onto a seedling, but anything is worth a try.
cathi cogle says
Oh, this is so going in my spruce border! What a cool statement… majesty, humility, that’s what is says to me…Love it!
Would it thrive in Southwest Missouri??? It is glorius!
Debbie, absolutely it would.
Mike, what about Southern Colorado? Like in San Luis Valley? We are zone 5. It is kinda dry out here and cold winters. Thanks!
Should be fine, I’m in zone 5 northern Ohio. Not as dry as you but very cold.
It’s beautiful, I would love to grow one but I’m surrounded by big Maples and Oaks so there is little sun for ALL the flowering plants etc. that I would so enjoy having. I have lots of green around me but in the SHADE!!! Do get lovely Maple Syrup in the Spring, that’s our consolation. Pinky.
How high will these grow? I have an Alaskan Cedar, very similar droopy tree that is about 50 foot tall. In Kentucky. Several planted in the neighborhood in the 1950’s.
They are beautiful.
Linda Pannell says
I think it’s a beautiful tree!! It looks like a tree I have in my front yard. It’s a form of Cypress. It stayed small for years, then sudenly took off, now over 15 ft tall. But this tree you showed, Mike, is very unique. That’s why I like it. Linda
I think it’s cool looking but would want more information.
Do they change colors at all during the seasons?
My neighbor had a gold “evergreen” bush and every time I looked at it, I thought it was dead until I realized that it was the natural color.
Ann McCoy says
Always wondered what those trees were called…Beautiful!!
Sylvia & Charles Griffin says
We live in northern Washington State, up in the northern Cascade mountains, & we have a lot of these plus many other varieties of evergreens. We love them. It is nice to have all that green when everything is covered with snow, during the long winter.
Doris Troutman says
I love this tree! I planted a Nootka the first year we were in our new house 6 yrs ago and it is higher than the roof now and has been host to baby house finches and hummingbirds for 3 yrs. I love the free form of the tree-it suits me and looks fantastic in winter with snow on its branches. Good year round tree
Love this weepy cypress!…
How long does it take to grow that tall?
Hella, they are not fast growing so I’d buy one at least 4′ tall.
Murray Pridham says
Mike, I’m with you…super cool tree. There are several in the Nova Scotia Agriculture College garden in Truro. (zone 5).
BUT by far my favorite conifer, while technically deciduous, is the Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia)! I have two in my yard. They are fast growers even way up here in the north (actually we are zone 5b at 45° lat.) One day when I am really old hopefully I will see it do it’s thing with the cool branching near the ground.
Murray, last summer I picked up a Dawn Redwood at a wholesale nursery stock auction for $10.00. I’ve got it planted in my nursery. It’s spindely, but I can be patient.
No way! This is not scary! I love this everygreen, my neighbor has one in front of her house and it is just STUNNING with all the other types of landscaping around it. It really shows off all the other styles because it is so different. I love these but they are mighty expensive around here!
marianne bugner says
I do not like it, it looks like it needs water
It is beautiful!
This tree looks wonderful, lazy looking and graceful at the same time. I’d find a place for this in my front yard.
I like it Mike.
Do you have any more info on it? We have at least a half dozen evergreen varieties on our property and would love to addd another.
I think it looks very cool! Definitely a plant lovers plant 🙂
Still liking the Japanese Umbrella Pine more…Wish I had one and the right spot to put it. My friend has 2 and they are lovely and very cool!
i live in Africa and our seasons are a contradiction to yours it is crazy. currently it is winter with temperatures coming in as low as 23 degrees at the most am sure it is nothing compared to Europe.
Katwamba, I know it gets confusing when I’m showing summer photos and others around the world are shoveling snow. But it does make it interesting.
This is my kind of evergreen——-
Oh, my! Sorree, but I must disagree that that thing is cool.
It looks like something that would take root outside the witch’s cottage – all droopy, dying and scary.
I think I’ll pass and see what you’re going to show us next – :-).
It’s an interesting evergreen and I’d love to plant one (or more) but where can I find more detailed pruning instructions? I’m one of those people who need a picture along with instructions LOL.
the deer here in NE CT eat many trees–including those “they” say deer won’t eat! That includes our arborvitae, which now have bare trunks up to deer-reach height!
Anyway–do deer like to munch on these gorgeous trees? I hope not. Thanks for all you do, Mike!
Ginia, I don’t know for sure. Deer are selective about what they eat depending upon how hungry they are. If it’s a long snow covered winter they’ll eat almost anything to survive. Things like Burning Bush and Crabapple trees they really, really like and it’s less and less desireable from there.
Eugene Vincent says
I live in Mesa AZ so what r my best plants 2 grow? I have try other plants.
I am in Phoenix, AZ.
I am starting with the trees and shrubs I have in my yard.
I just started 40 Feathery Senna, because I have a lot of sprigs on my bush, so it doesn’t matter that much if they don’t grow.
When it looks like I know kind of what I’m doing, I’m try the jujube.
When my clam shell propagators arrive, I am going to use them on the carob tree.
I also have light colored fig trees, and a shrub I haven’t figured out what it is yet.
This is my absolute favorite tree/plant ever. It has more character than any other plant. The only problem is they are extremely slow growers. After spending lots of money on small ones from nurseries all over the country, I finally bit the $$$ bullet, hurt the wallet and bout an 8 footer. You pretty much have to buy what you want it to be. I have not had any luck growing smaller ones.
Do you know where I can buy one? I’m having no luck.