Weeping for the falls

Just about a year ago I featured a great new weeping white pine; one of
the 2009 Collectors Conifer of the Year plants made available through the
American Conifer Society. Pinus strobus ‘Niagara Falls’ is a wonderful
new selection with slower growth than the well known Pinus strobus
‘Pendula’. I’ve had people ask me if P.s.‘Niagara Falls’ is something they
should bother with if they already have a P.s. ‘Pendula’ in their collection.
For me, the answer is simple. If you have enough room in your garden, YES!

Pinus strobus ‘Pendula’ is a grand specimen that, like many weeping
conifers and depending on culture, may grow as a low, sprawling,
magnificent ground cover or a tall undulating specimen reaching out this
way and that. A fast grower, ‘Pendula’ will have long, exposed, silvery gray
branches that curve and add character and interest while its long needles
add softness as they sway like fine textured blades of grass in the
summer breeze.

Pinus strobus 'Pendula'
Pinus strobus ‘Pendula’ with growth three times as long as ‘Niagara Falls’ will often expose its silvery gray bare branches

With its slower growth, ‘Niagara Falls’ will appear to be a more fully
clothed plant with a similar but different effect in the garden. The shorter
annual growth allows its foliage to more effectively cover its branches as it
(again depending on culture) will mound and sprawl, occasionally sending
up a dominant leader which eventually flops over and continues to build its
unique character. The denseness of the foliage gives ‘Niagara Falls’ a
more coarse and full appearance, when compared with ‘Pendula’, and as
it sprawls in the garden amongst the rockery or over a wall, it surely does
bring to mind the grand waterfall of its namesake.

Pinus strobus 'Niagara Falls'
A young ‘Niagara Falls’ begins to show some character.

In smaller gardens, where space is limited, ‘Niagara Falls’ could be a very
desirable alternative to the larger, more open growing ‘Pendula’. In
gardens with plenty of space, I would definitely grow both of these
excellent forms of the weeping white pine to enjoy their unique
contributions to the landscape.

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3 thoughts on “Weeping for the falls

  1. Very interesting. I had always wondered what the real difference between the common Pinus strobus ‘Pendula’ and ‘Niagara Falls’ was. This gives me something to look into if it is a decent candidate for a garden with limited space.

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    1. Hi Hayden – From what I’ve seen over the past few years, ‘Niagara Falls’ seems to grow at about 1/3 the rate of ‘Pendula’ (at least here in the Pacific Northwest). It looks like the cones are about 1/3 the length as well. Definately a more compact grower.

      Ed-

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