Tree Notes is about trees -- especially native trees, trees for wildlife, and trees in history.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Some native "weeping" trees

Trees with naturally drooping leaves

Bald cypress branches with fruit. Image by Tatiana Gerus.
A tree is said to have "weeping" branches or foliage when the leaves hang down from their stems and branches. One Merriam Webster definition for weeping is "having slender pendent branches."

Without question, the weeping willow is the best-known and most exaggerated of all trees with this form, but it's certainly not the only one. Here are some other native American trees with pendulous branches.

Don't expect them to look like weeping willows. They look like their own unique selves.

Betula alleghaniensis -- Yellow birch
Betula lenta -- Sweet birch
Betula nigra -- River birch
Betula papyrifera -- Paper birch
Betula populifolia -- Gray birch
Oxydendrum arboreum -- Sourwood
Prunus serotina -- Black cherry
Taxodium distichum -- Common baldcypress (Bald cypress)
Tsuga canadensis -- Canada hemlock

Sourwood leaves and flowers
Image by Jim Conrad,

Black cherry leaves and fruit
Image by Wikimedia contributor Pleple2000

2 comments -- please add yours:

trees said...

The ‘Spirea Vanhouttei’ tree is another beautiful tree with
sweeping branches that almost look ‘weepy’ to the viewer. The clouds of white flowers that cover the branches makes this privacy hedge look almost cheery though!Then there is the delicate Weeping Cherry tree which has fine light pink flowers and drooping branches.

Beth said...

I love our own Asimina triloba or Pawpaw tree. It's leaves droop and add tropical feel to the garden. One of my favorites!

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Enrich your life with the study of trees.

"The power to recognize trees at a glance without examining their leaves or flowers or fruit as they are seen, for example, from the car-window during a railroad journey, can only be acquired by studying them as they grow under all possible conditions over wide areas of territory. Such an attainment may not have much practical value, but once acquired it gives to the possessor a good deal of pleasure which is denied to less fortunate travelers."

Charles Sprague Sargent (1841-1927)

Print references I frequently consult

Benvie, Sam. Encyclopedia of North American Trees. Buffalo, NY: Firefly, 2000.

Brockman, C. Frank. Trees of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Ed. Herbert S. Zim. New York: Golden, 1986.

Cliburn, Jerry, and Ginny Clomps. A Key to Missouri Trees in Winter: An Identification Guide. Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri, 1980.

Collingwood, G. H., Warren David Brush, and Devereux Butcher. Knowing Your Trees. Washington: American Forestry Association, 1978.

Dirr, Michael. Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: an Illustrated Encyclopedia. Portland, Or.: Timber, 1997.

Elias, Thomas S. The Complete Trees of North America; Field Guide and Natural History. New York: Book Division, Times Mirror Magazines, 1980.

Grimm, William Carey. The Book of Trees;. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole, 1962.

Hightshoe, Gary L. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America: a Planting Design Manual for Environmental Designers. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1988.

Little, Elbert L. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees. New York: Chanticleer, 1996.

Martin, Alexander C., Herbert S. Zim, and Arnold L. Nelson. American Wildlife and Plants. New York: McGraw Hill, 1951.

Mitchell, Alan F., and David More. The Trees of North America. New York, NY: Facts On File Publications, 1987.

Randall, Charles E. Enjoying Our Trees. Washington: American Forestry Association, 1969.

Settergren, Carl D., and R. E. McDermott. Trees of Missouri. Columbia: University Extension, 1995.

Sternberg, Guy, and James W. Wilson. Native Trees for North American Landscapes: from the Atlantic to the Rockies. Portland: Timber, 2004.

Wharton, Mary E., and Roger W. Barbour. Trees and Shrubs of Kentucky. Lexington: University of Kentucky, 1973.

Wyman, Donald. Trees for American Gardens. New York: Macmillan, 1965.

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