I find weeping conifers to be particularly attractive. Even though they have the broad label of weeping, there can be differences in weeping forms even amongst plants within the same genus and species. For example, a few weeks ago I described some of the attributes of Tsuga canadensis ‘Pendula’. This is one of the first weeping plants that I remember being introduced to and remains one of my favorites today. However, the Canadian Hemlocks have other notable cultivars that are worthy of discussion. One great selection is Tsuga canadensis ‘Kelsey’s Weeping’
When young, ‘Kelsey’s Weeping’ and ‘Pendula’ can be difficult to distinguish from one another. As the plants mature, their unique characteristics become more obvious, and with age, both of these Weeping Canadian Hemlocks make desirable contributions to the garden. What makes ‘Kelsey’s Weeping’ stand out from ‘Pendula’ is it’s natural form. ‘Pendula’ requires staking when young to achieve any significant height. Without staking, ‘Pendula’ will grow as a very low mounding groundcover. ‘Kelsey’s Weeping’ should also be staked when very young, but it will mound upon itself, layer after layer while its branches reach outward in all directions forming a wider than tall mound with great character.
Some may also notice that ‘Pendula’ has darker green needles throughout much of the season, but with the onset of winter its needles will begin to “washout” and take on a yellowish hue. Although ‘Kelsey’s Weeping’ foliage is a lighter green color, it consistently holds its crisp green all year-round.
I love both these Weeping Hemlocks and I believe every garden should have at least one of each!
Thanks to Iseli for the photo link to this great 30 year old specimen!