Weeping willows, with their long drooping branches, create shade on hot summer days and provide shelter for birds and wildlife. Grown in wet areas, along stream banks or ponds, the weeping willow thrives in moist soil, but is tolerant of drier areas. This rapid grower can reach full height in a few years, often growing several feet a year until it reaches a height of 35 feet or more. This beautiful tree makes a dramatic statement and adds style to any landscape.
Plant weeping willows in full sun or partial shade at least 35 feet from your septic system or leach field. These trees develop an aggressive root system that gravitates to water. Tiny roots will infiltrate the smallest crack and quickly fill your septic system, clogging or splitting pipes.
Start new willow trees from cuttings of new growth. Select a 1- to 2-foot straight section of new growth. Although they can be rooted in a bucket or vase of water, they will take root if planted in moist soil.
Insert the shoot into the soil and firm the soil down with your hands. Keep the area evenly moist until you see signs of new growth.
Mulch around the base of the tree with 2 to 3 inches of bark to create a 3-foot circle to prevent weeds from growing and to conserve water. Stake the sapling, if necessary, to create a straight tree.
Water regularly for the first year to keep soil evenly moist. Water only during dry periods in successive years. Although willows prefer moist soil, they adapt easily to drier soil.
Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.