By: Teo Spengler
Everybody’s seen some type of weeping tree, garden ornamentals with branches that dip gracefully toward earth. The most famous example might be the weeping willow. What is a weeping white pine? Read on for information on “Pendula” and tips on how to grow a weeping white pine.
What is a Weeping White Pine?
Weeping white pine (Pinus strubus “Pendula”) is a small cultivar of the white pine family. According to pendula information, it is a short shrub with many stems. The branches grow downward and spread across the soil surface like a ground cover.
However, with proper early pruning, weeping white pine can develop into a small tree up to 12 feet (3.7 m.) tall. Its canopy outline is irregular. Weeping white pine’s canopy spread can be two to three times its height.
Weeping white pine trees have smooth trunks covered with silvery-gray bark. The bark is attractive when the trees are young, but as they age, the foliage covers the trunks all the way to the ground. The needles of a weeping white pine are evergreen and smell good. They are blue or blue-green, between 2 and 4 inches (5-10 cm.) long.
Pendula White Pine Care
If you want to know how to grow a weeping white pine, first check your hardiness zone. These are hardy trees and thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 3 through 7. If you live in a warm climate, you will not be able invite a weeping white pine into your yard.
According to pendula information, the weeping white pine is generally an easy-care, undemanding tree. It accepts most soils if they are acidic and well-draining. This includes loam and sand. Plant your tree in direct sun or a mix of sun and shade.
Information on how to grow a weeping white palm indicates that the species has little tolerance for heat, salt or drought. Water them regularly, keep them away from winter-salted roads, and do not try to plant them in zone 8 or above.
The only arduous part of pendula white pine care is the pruning. If you do not shape this tree while it is young, it tops out at about knee-height, growing as an evergreen ground cover. To make this plant into a small tree, reduce its many leaders to one by early structural pruning. If you want to be able to walk under the tree, you’ll need to trim the weeping branches as well.
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'Pendula' or weeping eastern white pine has soft blue-green needles borne in groups of five although foliage color varies greatly from one tree to the next. Some specimens keep the bluish color throughout the winter, others lose it. It is typically seen from 6 to 12 feet tall in landscapes growing slowly, with long weeping branches which touch the ground. Once on the ground, branches grow along the ground like a creeping ground cover. Trees must be trained to develop a central trunk, otherwise the plant simply forms a sprawling shrub about two to three feet tall. Several branches on young trees normally are trained to originate from the same point on top of the trunk forming a fountain of foliage. The gray bark on the trunk and large branches remains unusually smooth through middle age, breaking up into elongated blocks in old age but this is usually not seen, as foliage usually fills the tree to the ground.
Mature Pinus strobus 'Pendula': 'Pendula' Eastern White Pine
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What Is A Weeping White Pine: Pendula White Pine Care And Information - garden
Weeping White Pine foliage
* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details
Other Names: Eastern White Pine
A weeping and trailing shrub or small tree, very unlike the species features soft blue needles, tends to crawl along the ground and over rocks or walls, or forms a small weeping accent plant if trained on a standard beautiful if properly grown
Weeping White Pine has attractive bluish-green foliage. The needles are highly ornamental and remain bluish-green throughout the winter. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.
Weeping White Pine is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a rounded form and gracefully weeping branches. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.
This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep. When pruning is necessary, it is recommended to only trim back the new growth of the current season, other than to remove any dieback. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration
Weeping White Pine is recommended for the following landscape applications
- General Garden Use
Weeping White Pine will grow to be about 7 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.
This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. This is a selection of a native North American species.
* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details
How to Prune Weeping Pine Trees
Weeping pine trees are also known as Pinus strobus "Pendula" or Eastern white pine. They are native to North American and are hardy in zones 3B through 7. The weeping pine tree is used as a hedge or as a specimen tree in landscape design. It grows slowly and a mature tree can reach a height of 6 to 12 feet with a spread of 25 to 35 feet. If left untrained by pruning they will grow into sprawling shrubs reaching a height of 3 feet. Weeping pines also require pruning to remove diseased or damaged branches and to develop a central trunk.
Cut away any damaged, broken, or diseased branches as soon as possible. Do this when the damage occurs. The tree does not have to be in its dormant state.
Train a young weeping white pine to develop a central trunk by cutting off any low branches that develop at the trunk. Do not leave a stub as this lends itself to disease. This can be done in the winter when the tree is dormant.
Trim back any long weeping branches that are getting close to the ground. You do not want the branches to grow along the ground as they will form a ground cover. Cut them back to above ground height. This can be done in the winter or in the early spring.
- Train a young weeping white pine to develop a central trunk by cutting off any low branches that develop at the trunk.
- You do not want the branches to grow along the ground as they will form a ground cover.
Cut back branches if the tree is spreading beyond its boundaries within your landscape design. Cut back to a branch or to the main trunk. Do this in the winter or early spring.
Trim back new growth by cutting back the new shoots (called candles) to half their length. This can be done in spring after the candles appear. The candle should have completed its growth before you do the trimming–the needles will still be soft.
The pruning tools that you use will be determined by the size and location of the branch. When the tree is young you will probably only need hand pruning shears. When the tree matures if you cut any major branches you might require the lopping shears, pole pruner, or tree saw.
Weeping pine trees are fairly uncommon and may be hard to locate.