Weeping Alaskan Cedar: A Beautiful and low-maintenance tree

Cupressus nootkatensis Pendula Tree

Blue Weeping Alaskan Cedar: A Nursery guide to growing the Evergreen Chamaecyparis Nootkatensis

Are you looking for an eye-catching, sophisticated tree to add to your garden design? Look no further than the Weeping Alaskan Cedar.

Cupressus nootkatensis Pendula Tree

We’ll delve into the cultivation and history of the Weeping Alaskan Cedar, explore popular cultivars, and provide tips for propagation and maintenance. You’ll find plenty of valuable information to help you add this stunning tree to your landscape.

We’ll delve into the cultivation and history of the Weeping Alaskan Cedar, explore popular cultivars, and provide tips for propagation and maintenance. You’ll find plenty of valuable information to help you add this stunning tree to your landscape.

Summary
Genus name: Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’
Common name: Weeping Alaska Cedar
Origin: Native to North America, specifically Alaska and British Columbia
Means of reproduction: Propagation through cuttings or layering
Plant type: Evergreen coniferous tree
Height: Can grow up to 50-70 feet tall, with a spread of 15-25 feet
Propagation methods: Propagation through cuttings or layering
Water requirement: Moderate water requirement, but can tolerate drought conditions once established
Maintenance: Requires regular pruning to maintain its weeping form and prevent it from becoming too tall
Tolerance: Tolerates a wide variety of soil types but prefers well-drained soils. Tolerates some shade but prefers full sun
Light: Requires full sun to thrive

History of Weeping Alaskan Cedar

The Weeping Alaskan Cedar is a stunning conifer tree native to North America’s Pacific Northwest region. A cultivar of the Nootka Cypress trees named after the Nootka Sound region of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It was first discovered by the famous English explorer Captain James Cook during his voyage to the Pacific Northwest in 1778.

Indigenous peoples initially valued the tree for its durable, rot-resistant wood, which they used to construct homes and canoes. However, it was in the mid-19th century, this tree was introduced to European gardeners and became a popular ornamental plantgardeners and became a popular ornamental plant. Known for its weeping habit, Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’ plurally  known as Pendulum has a pyramidal shape with graceful branches that weep towards the ground, giving it a narrow form. It can grow up to 90 feet tall and 35 feet wide, but some cultivars only grow  to 20 feet tall and 2 feet wide.

Xanthocyparis nootkatensi

Cultivation

The weeping blue Alaskan Cedar is cold hardy, making it an ideal landscape plant in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 7, including most of Canada. However, it needs tender loving care to thrive.

Cultivating the Weeping Alaskan Cedar requires some care and attention, but the rewards are well worth the effort. The tree prefers well-drained soil that is slightly acidic and needs regular watering, especially during hot and dry weather. It’s also essential to give the tree plenty of space to grow,  as its branches are tall and 12 feet wide.

The tree has soft, feathery needles that ranges from  bluish green to gray-green. The needles are arranged in flattened sprays, creating a dense, lush appearance. It produces small cones around 1 inch in diameter. These cones start green and turn brown as they mature, adding another layer of visual interest to the tree. Also, it is known for its flattened sprays of foliage, which are soft and wispy, creating a strong accent in the landscape. The weeping blue Alaskan cedar tree is available for sale online in the nursery trade.

Prune and Maintenance of the Blue Weeping Alaskan Cedar

Weeping Alaskan Cedar can grow up to 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide, but its size can be controlled through pruning and training. You should prune in late winter or early spring before new growth. Remove any dead or diseased branches, and cut back any branches crossing or rubbing against each other. To maintain the tree’s shape and promote its graceful, weeping form, you can also prune the tips of the branches back to encourage lateral growth.

In terms of maintenance, the Weeping Alaskan Cedar is relatively low-maintenance once it is established. However, it’s important to watch for signs of stress or disease, such as yellowing needles or brown spots on the foliage. If you notice any issues, it’s important to address them promptly to ensure the tree stays healthy.

Cultivar to Select

The Weeping Alaskan Cedar is a strikingly beautiful evergreen conifer with graceful, drooping branches that create an elegant weeping effect. This cultivar is a popular choice for landscaping and is often used as a focal point in garden designs, adding an element of drama and sophistication to any outdoor space.

When selecting the right cultivar for a Weeping Alaskan Cedar, there are a few things to consider.

Cupressus_nootkatensis

To begin, choose a cultivar well-suited to your specific climate and growing conditions. Weeping Alaskan Cedars prefer cool, moist climates and do best in areas with mild summers and cold winters. They also prefer well-drained, slightly acidic soil, so if your soil is heavy or clay-based, amend it with organic matter to improve drainage.

‘Glauca Pendula.’

One popular cultivar of Weeping Alaskan Cedar is ‘Glauca Pendula.’ This cultivar features stunning silvery-blue foliage that is highly ornamental and adds a unique touch to any garden. ”Glauca Pendula’ is a slow-growing cultivar that typically reaches a height of around 10 feet, making it an excellent choice for smaller gardens or as a specimen tree in a nursery.

‘Green Arrow.’

Another excellent cultivar of Weeping Alaskan Cedar is ‘Green Arrow.’ also known as yellow ceder and Nootka cypress. This cultivar features bright green foliage that is highly ornamental and creates a stunning contrast against other plants in the garden. It is a blue-green open foliage, and a relatively fast-growing cultivar reaching up to 30 feet in height, making it an excellent choice for larger landscapes or as a screening tree to block out unsightly views.

‘Van den Akker’

‘Van den Akker’ is an excellent choice for a more compact cultivar. This cultivar features a weeping habit that is more upright than some other cultivars, making it ideal for smaller gardens or as a focal point in a courtyard or patio area. ‘Van den Akker’ typically reaches a height of around 6 feet, making it an excellent choice for those who want the beauty of a Weeping Alaskan Cedar without the space requirements of some of the larger cultivars.

No matter which cultivar you choose for your Alaskan Weeping Cedar, giving this beautiful tree the care it needs to thrive is essential. This beautiful tree prefers full sun to partial shade and require regular watering, especially during dry spells. They also benefit from regular fertilization with a balanced fertilizer to ensure healthy growth and vibrant foliage.

Propagation of Weeping Alaskan Cedar

Propagation of Weeping Alaskan Cedar can be done through cutting and grafting.

Cutting

Cutting involves taking a portion of the tree, usually a branch, and planting it to grow into a new tree. On the other hand, grafting consists of joining a branch from the tree onto a different type of tree, known as the rootstock, to create a new tree.

For propagating Weeping Alaskan Cedar via cuttings, choose a robust branch at least six inches long with multiple nodes (the juncture where the leaves attach to the stem). Slice the branch at a 45-degree angle just underneath the initial node, and remove the leaves on the first two nodes. This is where the roots will form.

Nootka falsecypress

Prepare a pot that is widely-spaced with a soil mixture that drains well, and dampen it. Coat the end of the branch with rooting hormone powder, then insert it into the soil with the two lower nodes submerged beneath the surface. Give the soil a thorough watering and find a warm, brightly lit spot for the pot. The cutting should take root within four to six weeks and produce fresh growth.

Grafting

Grafting involves joining a branch from the Weeping Alaskan Cedar onto a different type of tree, the rootstock, to create a new tree. This method is more complicated than cutting and requires some skill and practice.

To propagate Weeping Alaskan Cedar through grafting:

1. Select a rootstock compatible with the Weeping Alaskan Cedar, such as a Leyland cypress or a Japanese cedar.

2. Cut a branch from it about the same size as the rootstock, and make a diagonal cut on both the branch and the rootstock.

3. Join the two cuts and wrap them with grafting tape to hold them in place.

After grafting, keep the tree sunny with temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The tree should be watered regularly and should start to show new growth within a few weeks. It is important to note that grafting is a delicate process, and it may take some practice to get it right.

Light

Acknowledging that the Weeping Alaskan Cedar thrives in areas with abundant sunlight rather than limited shade is crucial. Specifically, it necessitates a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight daily to flourish and mature properly. Nonetheless, it’s worth mentioning that this tree can withstand some shade, particularly in warmer climates where it may require some relief from the sun. If you decide to plant your Weeping Alaskan Cedar in a partially shaded location, ensure it still receives ample sunlight throughout the day.

Soil

Weeping Alaskan Cedar trees grow in slightly acidic, well-drained soils with a pH range of 5.0 to 6.5. It can grow in various soil types,  including loamy, sandy, and clay. However, the soil should not be too heavy or compact, as this can cause waterlogging, leading to root rot. Moreover, the tree’s roots should have enough space to spread out and breathe, so avoid planting it in soils that are too shallow or contain a lot of rocks.

Fertility

Weeping Alaskan Cedar is a slow-growing tree requiring moderate to low fertilization levels. The tree does not have specific fertilizer requirements, but it is best to use a slow-release fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These nutrients are essential for the tree’s growth and development and should be applied during the growing season.

Proper soil preparation is crucial for the optimal growth and health of Weeping Alaskan Cedar. To begin, clear the planting area of any debris or weeds and loosen the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches. Suppose the soil has a high clay content or is too heavy, introduce organic matter like compost or well-rotted manure to enhance drainage and soil structure. In case the soil pH is too high, consider incorporating sulfur or acidifying fertilizers. Once the soil is ready, ensure the area is thoroughly watered before proceeding to plant the tree.

Cupressus nootkatensis leaves

Weeping Alaskan Cedar Water Requirements

Weeping Alaskan Cedar prefers well-drained soil kept consistently moist but not soggy. This means the tree should not be planted in areas with poor drainage or where water tends to collect, as this can lead to root rot and other water-related issues. Instead, planting trees in areas with good drainage, such as sloping hillsides or sandy soil, is best.

In terms of watering, the Weeping Alaskan Cedar requires regular and consistent watering, especially during its first few years of growth. This is because young trees have shallow roots and are more susceptible to drought stress. During periods of prolonged dryness, it is recommended deeply water the tree once or twice a week rather than shallowly and frequently to encourage deep root growth.

As the tree matures, it becomes more tolerant to drought and requires less frequent watering. However, monitoring the soil moisture and watering the tree is still important especially during hot, dry weather. Sticking a finger into the soil about an inch deep is a good way to check if the tree needs water.

Temperature

The Weeping Alaskan Cedar is a cold-hardy tree that can tolerate temperatures as low as -40°F (-40°C). It is well adapted to the cold temperatures of its native habitat and can withstand freezing temperatures for extended periods. However, while the tree can tolerate cold temperatures, it does not do well in hot and dry conditions. High temperatures and low humidity can be detrimental to its growth.

The Weeping Alaskan Cedar should be grown in a cool, moist climate. It prefers temperatures in the range of 50°F to 70°F (10°C to 21°C) and can tolerate occasional dips below freezing. In areas where summers can get hot, it is best to plant the tree in a location that provides partial shade to protect it from the scorching sun.

Cupressus_nootkatensis Tree

Humidity requirements for Weeping Cedar Tree

Humidity is essential for the growth and health of the Weeping Alaskan Cedar. In its native habitat, the tree receives ample moisture from the frequent rainfall and high humidity levels. Therefore, ensuring that the tree receives enough moisture and humidity to thrive.

The Weeping Alaskan Cedar thrives in a humid atmosphere with a relative humidity of approximately 60%. If grown in regions with minimal humidity, the tree may experience drought stress resulting in impaired growth and a compromised immune system. To ensure ideal humidity levels, it is advisable to water the tree frequently and use mulch to conserve moisture around its base.

Harvesting Weeping Alaskan Cedar Tree

Harvesting Weeping Alaskan Cedar is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. The first step is to identify the mature trees ready for harvesting. This involves thoroughly inspecting the tree’s trunk, branches, and roots to ensure it is healthy and free of diseases or pests. A skilled arborist can also determine the tree’s age by counting its growth rings.

Once the trees have been selected, the harvesting process begins. This typically involves cutting the tree down with a chainsaw or axe and removing the branches and bark. The logs are then transported to a sawmill, where they are cut into lumber or other products. In some cases, the logs may be left in the forest to decompose and provide nutrients to the soil.

Cupressus nootkatensis

Harvesting Weeping Alaskan Cedar requires special care to ensure the tree’s natural habitat is not damaged or destroyed. Heavy machinery or foot traffic can easily damage the tree’s shallow roots, leading to soil erosion and nutrient depletion. To prevent this, loggers often use low-impact harvesting techniques, such as hand-felling and horse logging, which minimize the impact on the forest floor.

Transplanting Weeping Alaskan Cedar

To transplant a weeping Alaskan cedar tree, begin by excavating a hole twice the size of the root ball without exceeding its depth. You should level the top of the root ball with the ground. The soil in the hole should be rich in organic matter and drain well to supply the tree with the required nutrients.

Once the hole is ready, carefully extract the tree from its original position. Use a spade or a tree spade to dig around the root ball, ensuring not to harm the roots. Root damage may shock the tree and hamper its development.

Subsequently, position the evergreen tree into the new hole, ensuring it is standing straight and leveled. Firmly tamp down the soil to remove any air pockets before watering the tree thoroughly to help the roots settle and encourage their growth.

After transplanting the tree, providing it with proper care and maintenance is vital. This includes watering the tree regularly, especially during the first few months after transplanting. The tree should also be fertilized with a slow-release fertilizer to provide the nutrients for healthy growth.

Managing common Pests and Diseases

The spider mite is a common pests that can infest Weeping Alaskan Cedar. These tiny insects are barely visible to the naked eye, but their effects can be devastating. Spider mites feed on the sap of the tree’s needles, causing them to turn yellow and eventually fall off. If left untreated, spider mite infestations can weaken the tree and make it more vulnerable to other pests and diseases.

To manage spider mites, it is essential to take a proactive approach. Regularly inspect your Weeping Alaskan Cedar for signs of infestation, and if you notice any yellowing or dropping needles, take action immediately.

Several methods for controlling spider mites include:
  • Spraying a strong jet of water to dislodge the insects.
  • Applying insecticidal soap or oil.
  • Using a systemic insecticide that is absorbed into the tree’s tissues.

Another issue that can affect Weeping Alaskan Cedar is the cedar bark beetle. These tiny insects burrow into the bark of the tree, causing damage to the phloem and disrupting the flow of nutrients and water. Infestations can quickly spread and cause the tree to die within a few months.

Weeping Alaskan Cedar

Keeping your Weeping Alaskan Cedar healthy and well-maintained is necessary to prevent cedar bark beetle infestations. Prune any dead or diseased branches, and keep the area around the tree free of debris and weeds. You can also use insecticidal sprays or trunk injections to protect the tree from beetle infestations.

Another issue that can affect Weeping Alaskan Cedar is needle blight. This fungal disease causes the tree’s needles to turn brown and fall off, weakening the tree and making it more vulnerable to other diseases.

To manage needle blight, removing any infected needles and disposing of them properly is essential. You can also apply a fungicide to the evergreen tree to help prevent further infections. In addition, it’s crucial to maintain good air circulation around the tree and avoid overcrowding or planting Weeping Alaskan Cedars in damp or shady areas.

Finally, Weeping Alaskan Cedar may also be susceptible to environmental stressors like drought or extreme temperatures. To help the tree cope with these challenges, it’s important to provide adequate water and nutrients and avoid extreme heat or cold exposure. Mulching around the tree’s base can also help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature.

Weeping Alaskan Cedar Best uses

Weeping Alaskan Cedar has many uses, from beautifying gardens and landscapes to providing shade and privacy. We will explore some of the best uses of this magnificent tree.

Xanthocyparis nootkatensi Wreath

Ornamental purposes

The Weeping Alaskan Cedar is a popular ornamental tree due to its unique shape and attractive foliage. The tree’s cascading branches create a graceful, weeping form, making it an excellent choice for accentuating landscapes, gardens, and patios. Moreover, the tree’s foliage is evergreen, which retains its greenery throughout the year, adding color and texture to any outdoor space.

Privacy screen

If you are looking for a tree that provides privacy, Weeping Alaskan Cedar is an excellent choice. The tree’s dense foliage and weeping branches creates an impenetrable screen that effectively blocks out the view from the outside. Moreover, the tree can grow up to 20-30 feet tall, providing enough height to cover even the tallest fences or walls.

Windbreak

Weeping Alaskan Cedar is an excellent windbreak tree due to its dense foliage and sturdy branches. The tree can effectively reduce wind speed and protect your garden or landscape from damage. The tree’s weeping branches and foliage also create a visually appealing barrier that adds aesthetic value to your garden or landscape.

Accent tree

Weeping Alaskan Cedar is a perfect accent tree that can add visual interest and depth to your garden or landscape. The tree’s unique shape and form make it a perfect centerpiece or focal point, drawing attention and creating a stunning visual impact. The tree’s foliage also creates a beautiful contrast against other plants, adding depth and dimension to your garden or landscape.

Bonsai

Weeping Alaskan Cedar is an excellent choice for bonsai enthusiasts due to its slow-growing nature and unique form. The tree’s weeping branches and evergreen foliage create a visually striking tree that adds a touch of elegance and beauty to any indoor or outdoor space.

Christmas tree

Weeping Alaskan Cedar is a popular Christmas tree due to its dense foliage and evergreen nature. The tree’s weeping branches create a unique and elegant shape, making it a perfect alternative to traditional Christmas trees. Additionally, the tree’s foliage emits a pleasant aroma that adds to the festive atmosphere.

Conclusion

The Weeping Alaskan Cedar is an elegant and striking conifer with a rich history and a popular landscaping choice. Its soft, feathery foliage and weeping branches adds a touch of drama to any outdoor space.

Weeping Alaskan Cedar

The weeping Alaskan cedar tree is  prone to spruce mites, but with a little attention, they can be avoided. Pest control is important, and it’s best to prune away any bough that’s touching the ground to avoid the spread of pests and diseases.

To plant this tree, choose a site that receives full sun throughout the day and consistently moist soil. The tree prefers moisture, so supplemental water is needed during droughts. The weeping cedar is sensitive to harsh winter winds, so it’s best to choose a site that’s protected from strong winds.

When planting, create the perfect environment for the tree by adding a 3-inch layer of shredded hardwood around the base. This will help retain moisture in the soil and keep the root system healthy right from the start.

With proper care and maintenance, this tree can thrive in various growing conditions. Cultivers can be selected to suit different preferences and space requirements. Whether you choose to propagate it through cutting or grafting, this plant surely adds beauty and sophistication to your garden for years.

Frequently asked questions. (FAQ’s)

What is the maximum height that a Weeping Alaska Cedar can grow?

Weeping Alaska Cedar can grow up to 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide.  Its size can be controlled through pruning and training.

How often should I water my Weeping Alaska Cedar?

Weeping Alaska Cedars require regular watering, especially during dry spells. It’s important to ensure the soil is consistently moist but not waterlogged.

How do I know if my Weeping Alaska Cedar is stressed or diseased?

Look for signs of stress or disease, such as yellowing needles or brown spots on the foliage. If you notice any issues, it’s important to address them promptly to ensure the tree stays healthy.

What is the tolerance of Weeping Alaska Cedar to different types of light?

Weeping Alaska Cedars prefer full sun to partial shade. They can tolerate some shade but grow more slowly and may not have as dense foliage as those grown in full sun.

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