Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Weeping Alaska Cedar

By April Sanders ; Updated September 21, 2017

The weeping Alaska cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis "Pendula") is a cultivar of the Alaska cedar. The tree is highly desirable for its long, heavily weeping branches and deep green foliage, according to the University of Connecticut. The weeping Alaska cedar is commonly used in landscaping as a specimen plant. It is also called the "Nootka Falsecypress" or yellow-cypress.


In the wild, Chamaecyparis nootkatensis "Pendula" can grow up to 90 feet tall. In cultivation, however, the tree usually reaches a maximum height of around 35 feet, with a width of 20 feet, according to the University of Florida. The foliage is evergreen and blue or gray-green in color. Occasionally, the foliage will turn brown during the second year of growth, but green up again the following spring. The branches droop dramatically and often remain green when other trees are covered with snow, as the angle is so sharp that snow slides right off of them. The flowers are yellow on male trees, and the cones are small and numerous.


The weeping Alaska cedar is native to the coastal or mountain areas of western North America. The tree grows in the wild in an area stretching from Alaska, through Canada and into Oregon, according to the University of Connecticut. It grows in areas with high humidity, and in wet winter weather in particular.


Chamaecyparis nootkatensis "Pendula" thrives in climates with above-average rainfall, mild summers and cool or cold winters. The tree is very cold-hardy, according to the University of Florida, and grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 4 through 8A.


Weeping Alaska cedar trees thrive in moist, rich soil that is well-draining. Although the trees can adapt to different light conditions, including the ability to grow in full shade, they do best in locations that receive full sunlight, according to the University of Connecticut. They need little, if any, pruning, but the trees do have thin bark that can be damaged by gardening or lawn tools.


Although this tree rarely suffers from insect pests, it does suffer from fungal diseases, particularly blights. It is also somewhat hard to find and rather expensive, according to the University of Connecticut. When crushed, the foliage releases an unpleasant odor.