How To Plant Weeping Willow Trees?

Grow them from cuttings in two easy steps

How to Plant Weeping Willow

Richard Hamilton Smith/lore/Simon McGill/gettyimages

Scientifically known as Salix Babylonica, the weeping willow is probably the best of its kind. The tree has spear-like leaves that turn yellow, before dropping in the fall season. Their long leaves can grow about 3 to 6 inches in length.
So, today we will discuss how to plant weeping willow trees in the simplest way possible. With their beautiful and drooping foliage, these trees provide cool shade. One can most commonly witness the beauty of this elegant tree when it blooms beautiful catkins in spring or late winter.
In This Article


Did You Know How This Tree Got Its Name?

Have you looked at how raindrops appear like teardrops when they fall from the curved branches? It is precisely how a weeping willow looks when seen from far. Hence, the name – weeping willow.


The Ideal Growing Conditions for Weeping Willow Trees

Before we move on to how to plant weeping willow cuttings, let’s start by understanding the perfect conditions necessary for growing weeping willow trees.
Willows are lovely-looking and quick-growing trees with a very short average lifespan of 30 years. Usually, the best time of year to grow this tree is during the fall. It’s because these trees prefer warmer weather conditions to develop.
They prefer full sun to partial shade. In addition, they thrive best in well draining moist soil.
Make sure you choose a spacious area where this majestic tree can stretch to a height and width of 50 feet. These trees naturally drop many twigs and leaves so plant them in a place where it doesn’t hurt anyone.
Avoid planting them near water lines, sewer drains, and septic systems. It is because they have a far-reaching and strong root structure. Sometimes it might stretch more than the height of the tree and look for nutrients and oxygen in the soil surrounding the septic system and drainage system.


How To Plant Weeping Willow Trees?

The process of planting a weeping willow is very easy. Just start by digging a hole in the ground around twice the size of the root ball of the plant. This will give enough space for the roots to flourish.
Now place the plant in the center of the hole and fill the area with soil. Reaching halfway feed the plant with around 2 gallons of water. Pat the soil gently to make it firm and fill it in to the top.
You can also put mulch around the baby tree to retain the moisture and prevent weeds but make sure it does not come in contact with the tree.
Lastly, to protect the plant from wind damage use staking kits to provide support to the young plant.

How To Plant Weeping Willow Cuttings?

Follow this quick and effective way to plant the weeping willow cutting.
Planting directly in soil: To grow a weeping willow using a cutting from the stem, just take care to get stem cuttings from at least 2-feet, well-grown plants when they are in the state of dormancy.

Plant the cuttings directly in the soil during the growing period, which is early spring and late winter. Just remember to follow a routine to water it during the growing period.


Putting in water first then planting: You can also grow a willow tree by placing the cuttings in water before planting. That’s right. It’s a simple trick that you can follow if you want to grow willows faster and in a more efficient manner.

Just take some water in a container and place your tree cutting into it. Replace the water every day to induce the growth of roots.  And once you notice the growth of roots in water, remove them and plant them in your garden.


How Far Apart To Plant Weeping Willow Trees?

Weeping willows are strong and healthy trees known for their far-reaching root structure. Their thick root structure can even damage the sewer lines surrounding them. So, make sure to plant them away from your home. Otherwise, it can disrupt the foundation.
Never plant your tree along patios and sidewalks for the same reason. Generally, they can grow about 45′ big as its root spreads far to locate a source of water. That said, it is best to keep a distance of 50 feet between your willow tree and underground pipes and sewer lines. Each tree should be at least 20-25 feet apart from each other.


How To Make A Weeping Willow Tree Grow Faster?

Since weeping willows are graceful trees with a pendulous branching structure, they offer beautiful scenery no matter where you plant them. But if you want to enjoy its beautiful sight for many years to come, you’ll need to take care of your weeping willows.
So, here take a look at some effective factors you must keep in mind to make your willow tree grow faster and healthier.

1. Sufficient Sunlight

When following the ideal step by step method of how to plant weeping willow trees, choosing a location with enough light is very important. Although these trees don’t require extensive sunlight to thrive, make sure to plant them in partial shade or full sunlight. On average the tree requires at least four hours of daylight.


2. Water

It is undoubtedly the most important component for the quick growth of a tree. The willow trees need ample water for their widely spreading and long root structure. Even if they are planted in areas that get waterlogged frequently, they can thrive happily. Make sure to plant your tree in a well-drained area and water it every week in the beginning year of planting.


3. Pruning

Pruning your tree is the best possible way to promote healthy growth. Make sure to remove any wilting, decaying, and dead stubs as well as branches while pruning. An added benefit of this is that it supports healthy tree growth by keeping away pests and animals. So, don’t delay pruning your willow tree and remove the big unwanted shoots that grow at the bottom of the tree.


4. Pests and diseases

Once your tree is planted, look out for any pests and diseases. Some common pests that can infest your tree include gypsy, borers, moths, and aphids. These pests can cause an infestation that slows the growth rate and can even kill it.


5. Soil

As for the soil, make sure it has a good drainage system and a low pH level. These trees can grow rapidly in Hardiness zones of 4-10 (USDA). Having read this far into the article you are sure to have learned the answer to the question “how to plant weeping willow trees and make them healthy and grow faster.”


Uses Of Willow Trees

  1. Willow water can be used to propagate other plants because it has higher amounts of natural rooting hormone.
  2. Some willows have the properties of an anti-inflammatory compound used in the production of aspirin. It helps in curing fever, and inflammation and removing pain.
  3. Willow trees have many commercial benefits as well. For example, making leather, furniture, toys, fishing nets, and baskets.
  4. Wood from willow trees is highly useful to create brooms, flutes, wands, furniture, cricket bats, boxes, and more.
  5. Its wood offer pulp for the industries producing paper.
  6. Willow tree offers fodder for animals like goats, cows, and sheep. It is typically known as tree hay and harvested with the help of techniques like pollarding and coppicing.
  7. Lastly, the great use of this majestic tree is that it makes a wonderful shelter for wildlife. Many birds and insects prefer this tree for nesting. For example, in the spring season, it attracts hummingbirds and bees.



Q. What is the difference between a willow and a weeping willow?

Ans.Weeping willows are a type of willow tree which are immensely popular. So, you cannot have a clear-cut demarcation here between the two. However, the most prominent feature of a weeping willow is its appearance which makes it stand out from the rest of the willow trees.
Also, the root system in willow trees is very good, intense with interweaving root grids. It helps their roots to establish a good grip even in wet soils. Whereas in the case of weeping willows, they have a very shallow root system. It can quickly spread wide same as the height of the tree.

Q. How to grow a weeping willow tree from a branch?

Ans.Yes, it is very easy to grow a weeping willow tree from a branch. Just find a healthy willow tree branch and plant it in well-moist soil. The best time to do this is in the spring or at the end of winter. If the soil remains humid and wet, you can notice roots coming out of the stem in just one month or so.
This will give you an effective root system before the growing season end.

Q. How is rooting willow tree cuttings in water important before planting?

Ans.The benefit of rooting the cutting of willow trees is that it helps in the rapid growth of the tree’s roots. On the other hand, when you plant a cutting in soil, it might fail to produce roots. The same happens when you plant willow cuttings in two rows to get dense screens and it fails to form roots.
It can be difficult to remove the dead cuttings and replace them with healthy ones. It can deteriorate your soil quality and create unwanted gaps in your garden/yard.


Q. How long does it take for willow cuttings to root in water?

Ans.For people who are wondering how to plant weeping willow cuttings in the ideal way, you can typically plant its stem in moist soil. It will start producing roots in just one month. But there is another easy way of rooting as well.
You can simply grow it indoors by placing the willow cuttings in a pot of water. Remember to change the water regularly. Once you notice roots coming out of the cuttings, take them out of the water and plant them in your garden.


Q. How fast does weeping willow grow?

Ans.The weeping willow tree is known as the fastest-growing tree that can climb to a height of 50 feet. Likewise, the long and drooping branches of these trees spread about 50 feet wide and offer dense foliage. Hence, it’s no secret that weeping willows are popular for offering cool shade.
When young the height of these trees increases by an average of 6-8 feet every year. However, these weeping willow trees have a relatively short lifespan of about 30 years.

Final Word

Weeping willow trees are graceful trees that are known to improve residential landscapes and gardens.
Although sometimes weeping willow trees can appear messy, they are loved for their wonderful shade. So, make sure to plant and care for them correctly from the beginning.