Will the real Weeping Alaskan Cedar please stand up!

eonibm(Toronto)May 18, 2013

Hi. I am looking for a cedar that looks like the one in the picture on the left and right (not middle). It is apparently called a Weeping Alaskan Cedar or Weeping Alaskan Yello Cedar and it's botanical name is Chamaecyparis Nootkatensis 'Pendula'. However, when searching online I find such cedars with the same botanical name that look like the picture on the right, left and middle, yet the one in the middle is clearly different. I find the ones on the left and right preferable as I want something very full, wide and with a cascading effect rather than the one in the middle that is more narrow, spindly and pendulous.

Can they both actually have exactly the same name? I don't want to order a small tree and then find out it grows into the one in the middle instead of the right or left one. Does anyone know how to properly refer to it or is it just a subspecies with no identifiable name and you just have to find 'the look'?

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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

The one is the middle is more representative of the cultivar you mentioned above. Very classy specimen.

I have a Jubilee and Green Arrow.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 9:27PM
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But, what are the ones on the left and right called?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 9:33PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

More than one clone is grown as 'Pendula'.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 12:16AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Could they just be the species plant or 'Glauca'?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 7:43AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

they are conifers .. there is a conifer forum .. i dont care where you post ...

they are all pendula ....

you are comparing.. first.. a 10 year old plant.. with a 40 year old plant.. one is obviously more mature than the other ...

from the middle pic.. you can tell the plant on the right is at least 20 feet too close to the house.. dont you think???

also ... and most importantly ... you are comparing a single leader plant in the center.. with plants that have multiple leaders hidden inside ...

bottom line.. if you are intrigued by these.. just buy one.. and enjoy it.. and if in 10 or 20 years.. it fails to make you happy.. get rid of it ...

how old are you ... and how long will you live in this garden.. to really care what its going to look like in 20 years????

plant something that makes your toes curl... and get rid of it.. when it makes your feet stink .. OK,.. there is a new twist on that cliche.. lol ...

its pic season at the conifer forum.. we can name about 1000 plants better than this one... especially if you are mail ordering .... dax... is that whistler guy still in biz in canada ... darren whats his name.. lol ...

good luck


    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 9:21AM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Also just to confuse things more, the Alaskan cedar is now Cupressus not Chamaecyparis. Too hard for me to see from the photos (lame excuse, I'm lousy at ID anyway) but the ones on the right and the left look more like Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, say.

I can hear the OP tearing his hair out...


    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 9:35AM
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ken_adrian - The right and middle trees are about the same age, not 10 and 40 years old. Multiple leaders or no multiple leaders I've seen ones exactly the same height in my area and they are totally different, yet seem to have the same name. It's not the leaders that are making the tree look different. And, with respect to the one I like, no matter what age or how big I see them they always have the same look, so age is irrelevant. As for the tree being too close to the house, that wasn't my question, neither is the issue of how long I'll have the tree. And, yes I'd buy one if I knew what it was called. That was the whole reason for my post! But, since I don't know what it is called I can't (yet).

formandfoliage - Thanks and yes I am tearing my hair out as no one seems to be able to answer my question and is bringing up irrelevant issues. I think I'll post in the conifer forum, which I didn't know existed.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 11:17AM
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Your question was answered - :-)) The form of this tree is quite variable and as bboy stated, more than one clone is grown as 'Pendula' and depending on the grower, the habit and form can vary rather widely. Just do a Google image search if you doubt that. I will say that the photo on the far left looks much more like Thuja plicata than it does a nootka cypress but not close enough detail to determine for sure.

If you like the fuller look, then you need to search out and select one that displays that characteristic. That may preclude mail order unless you know that grower sells stock propagated from a very full plant or you specify that in your order.

FWIW, the vast majority of these sold are cultivars that emphasize the more narrow growth habit, like 'Jubilee', 'Green Arrow', 'Strict Weeping', 'Van den Akker'.

And I believe the official name for this tree is now Xanthocyparis nootkatensis, although it has gone through a number of semi-official name changes over the years, including Callitropsis and Cupressus.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 2:18PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

gardengal I think (but am not positive) that so many people howled when it went to Xanthocyparis that the taxonomy gurus backed off and left it at Cupressus. But of course different people/arboreta/universities follow different conventions. But the ones that I belong to around here switched from Chamaecyparis to Cupressus and are holding firm. For now....


    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 4:24PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

duplicate post

This post was edited by formandfoliage on Sun, May 19, 13 at 17:59

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 4:25PM
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fandf - to me it is still Chamaecyparis nootkatensis....and likely to stay that way :-)

FWIW, I've been in the nursery business for a good many years now and have yet to see a grower label it anything other than chamaecyparis. Some things just don't change very easily.!!

And although I would be hesitant to state so on the Conifer forum, those guys get a little overly obsessive about that stuff. As long as everyone knows what plant you are referring to, all that taxonomic wrangling and argument is pretty much just for the textbooks.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 6:46PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Yeah, exactly! I hang out with a lot of botanical garden people who have to label their collections so it it a bit of a different perspective. Whatever they decide someone will complain! And of course the different arboreta don't always agree either. At some point I just go outside and enjoy the plants!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 8:11PM
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I would like to know about the root system of the weeping Alaskan Cedar. The landscaper planted the tree about 3 feet from the house and after 9 years, it is 15 ft. high. I am worried about the root system destroying the concrete slab of the house and the hot water tubes in the slab. I wanted to move it and the nursery said there should be no problem with the tree. I do not believe him. Anyone know about the root system??

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 10:04AM
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There are several fairly large Arizona Cypress close to houses with no apparent damage on-going down here. I never actually stopped to talk to the home-owners, but assumed if it was causing problems they would have had it removed. (these trees used to be cousins, assuming similar root characteristics ran in the family)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 10:52AM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Cupressus macrocarpa (a different animal, as it were) has the reputation of having 'lazy roots' that don't venture far from the trunk. They blow over all the time, especially when people maintain irrigation too close to the trunk. Not sure if this helps answer your question...maybe someone else with more knowledge can opine about whether C. macrocarpa and C. (or C.) nootkatensis share this characteristic.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 11:28AM
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You may already have your answer, but incase you have not, your are looking for "Glauca" (the ones on the left and right). The one in the center is "Glauca Pendulata".
The real names are Chamaecyparis Nootkatensis Glauca Pendula and Chamaecyparis Nootkatensis Glauca.
I found this info. at www.russellsnursery.com. Check it out.
Don't you just hate it when everybody has to chim in and they don't even have the answer to your question? Then bring up stuff you didn't even ask about. Why don't they just keep quiet.
I love this tree as well, and was looking for one after seeing a beautiful specimen at a new friends house - the "full" variety. The non weeping variety.
Hope you see this.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 4:41PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I see nothing in the three photos that I would say was 'Glauca' as usually seen. Stock under the name - which embraces any seedlings that pop up more blue than usual but are not weeping - is usually more dense and fine textured than any of the three examples asked about here.

The one in the middle is too green to be 'Glauca Pendula'.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 6:28PM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

Here is the species I collected in the Cascade Mountains here in Washington State.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:41AM
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@Boom48439 - You did not provide a link to the exact tree on that website but I went there and found no trees that look like what I want.

@mikebotann - Yes that is the tree I am looking for. Too bad I live in Toronto, Canada and nowhere close to Washington State. Did you collect that as a small tree and replant it on your property? You seem to have clipped a lot of the lower branches unfortunately.

I must say I am still confused as to where I can get this tree in Toronto and what the real name is. I am going to be visiting a bunch of nurseries with the picture soon. There aren't many around here in Toronto but here's a pic of another one I found in Etobicoke, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 12:34PM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

It was a seedling growing in a logging road ditch. One of thousands.
I didn't have room to keep the lower branches unfortunately. Most trees can't be grown as arboretum specimens in the middle of a sweeping lawn in my garden because of space limitations. I also have very little lawn. I can mow it in about 5 minutes. Not bad for ten acres. (2 hectares)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 12:52PM
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