How Fast Do Weeping Willows Grow?
These fast-growing species are all about the right location & soil
Botanically known as Salix babylonica, the Weeping willows are one of the most prevalent weeping trees. They are giant, graceful trees, frequently spotted across a river or stream.
When planning to plant it in your neighborhood, always consider how fast do weeping willows grow, in order to make sure that they don’t encroach upon nearby structures.
In This Article
- About This Intriguing Willow Variety
- Weeping Willow Trees Growth Rate
- Do Ideal Growing Conditions Make Weeping Willow Grow Faster?
- Weeping Willow Tree Pros and Cons
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Word
The Mysterious Weeping Willows
Of the various kinds of weeping willows, the most prevalent ones are the Babylon weeping willow and the golden weeping willow.
The weeping willows known for their grace and grandeur have arching stems, which delicately dangle and shiver in the breeze. Its lance-shaped leaves are deciduous and typically grow between three to six inches.
They change their color to yellow during fall and finally drop. But, fluffy yellow catkins show on the bare branches in the spring. Their bark is gray and rough with deep, long ridges.
While some suggest that it is called the weeping willow because of how the raindrops fall from the branches, it gets its name prevalently because of its drooping leaf structure. These plants grow best in moist conditions.
How Fast Do Weeping Willow Trees Grow?
Weeping willows are fast-growing and tend to grow by 2 feet per year. They reach a height of 50 feet in just about two and a half decades. Hence, they are ideal specimens only for vast gardens.
Reports by North Carolina Extension Gardener suggest that Weeping Willow is a maximum of thirty to fifty feet high with a proportionate spread, resulting in a rounded growth. But, the plant can reach its full height sometimes in about fifteen years.
Also, given the fast growth rate of weeping willow trees, their roots can be invasive and destructive. Thus, we do not recommend planting the weeping willow near other plants wherein it might compete for space. Similarly, avoid plantations near house fences, water lines, or sewers, which can cause massive destruction.
How To Make a Weeping Willow Tree Grow Faster?
Even though this weeping tree has a fast growth rate, you can still make the plant grow healthier by regularly pruning it. We usually don’t pay much heed to pruning, but in the case of weeping willows, it is very important.
Along with that, you should exercise due caution and care both during and after the plantation. Here are some care instructions you can follow to accelerate the growth rate.
A. Pick the right spot
We have discussed how fast do weeping willow trees grow, but it is not always that the plant will grow at the same pace. So, if you wish to give your plant the deserved growth, you must plant it near a stream or a large pond where the soil remains moist. Alternatively, you can also have this tree as a specimen on the large lawn.
You must be careful when selecting the growing spot and deeply assess the soil. It will only thrive when it receives optimum growing conditions. Hence, if you plant it in dry soil, it may lose its vigor.
The location should also receive at least 4-5 hours of indirect sunlight as these trees thrive in full sun to partial shade.
B. Correctly planting your weeping willow after location selection
Planting your willow is straightforward. You have to do it just like you would with any other tree. Here are steps you need to follow towards its plantation:
- Start with digging a hole in the garden. The hole should be around twice the size of the root ball in width and depth.
- Once you dug up to a decent depth, place the plant in the ground.
- If the depth is satisfactory, you can gently but firmly refill the hole with the soil.
- Water it thoroughly and let the water seep in till the top soil seems moist.
- Next, if need be provide some support to the plant to avoid wind damage.
C. Caring for the weeping willow
Anyone aspiring to learn how to make a weeping willow tree grow faster should take ample measures towards weeping willow care. Here are some steps that can help:
You must follow a strict watering schedule for the first year to foster proper growth of your weeping willow. It can help keep the soil moist evenly. Ideally, once or twice a week will suffice. In successive years, you must water the willows only during periods of dryness. Even though weeping willows enjoy moist soil, they can adapt to dry soil for some time.
How fast do weeping willow trees grow even depends on whether you cater to the plant’s light requirements. Sunlight is a vital requirement for all kinds of willow trees. But they do not require a lot of sunlight to grow. However, that does not mean you can plant them in full shade. Four hours of sunlight is enough to cater to your plant’s needs.
The plant food also determines how fast do weeping willows grow per year. However, an already mature weeping willow does not demand fertilizer; provided you plant it in rich soil and it already has healthy green leaves.
You can also skip fertilization if lawns nearby undergo regular fertilization. But, if required, use an NPK 20-20-20 fertilizer for weak plants.
Weeping willow can tolerate various soils and pH, provided it is well-draining yet moist. Typically, they like rich, loamy, alkaline, clay, and sandy soils. However, if your planted soil is excessively alkaline, you can mix some organic matter. It can help lower the pH.
Pruning the crown helps amplify air circulation. It ensures that wind passes through the trees and keeps diseases at bay. Ideally, you must prune two inches between the top branches during spring before the emergence of new growth.
In addition, you must also trim branches reclining towards the ground. How fast do weeping willows grow per year depends on how neatly and correctly you snip its unhealthy branches making room for healthy growth.
6. Temperature and humidity
Weeping willows have drought tolerance and can withstand even the challenging winter cold. But, they can also handle the summer desert heat, provided water and greenery are not very far away.
Weeping Willow Tree Pros and Cons
- Even though they are deciduous, they are the first to leaf and last to drop. So, you will have foliage for a significant part of the year.
- They appreciate moisture. Hence, the perfect addition in areas that stay soggy. Its roots will soak all the access water and make swampy areas usable again.
- They are one of the fastest-growing trees. So, given how fast do weeping willows grow, you will have quicker privacy.
- Willows have invasive roots and hamper underground pipes and other house structures.
- Weeping willows are messy and drop several twigs and branches.
- They are susceptible to plenty of diseases and insect issues.
- Weeping willows have a short lifespan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ques 1. What is the average weeping willow size?
Ans. On average, a weeping willow grows between thirty and forty feet high with a spread of around thirty-five feet at maturity.
Ques 2. How much is the weeping willow lifespan?
Ans. Weeping willows are short-lived, and they live between thirty to fifty years.
Ques 3. Where to plant weeping willow trees?
Ans. Plant the weeping willows in moist, slightly acidic soil that receives full sun to partial shade. Typically, they thrive in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 9.
Ques 4. How close to the house can you plant willow trees?
Ans. You must plant your weeping willows at least fifty feet from your house.
Ques 5. Do weeping willows need a lot of water?
Ans. Yes, weeping willows have a high water requirement but they do not like waterlogged soil. Watering should be just enough to keep the soil moist at all times.
So, that’s all on the growth rate of weeping willow and how to make a weeping willow tree grow faster. Looking at the fast growth rate, you should only plant this tree if you have ample space for it to flourish where it does not hurt the structures nearby.