How to Make a Weeping Willow


Weeping willows are one of the most popular varieties of willow for use in ornamental landscaping, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. The tree, which is hearty to Zone 3b, has a short trunk and drooping, pliant branches. Although the tree can grow as tall as 50 feet, the branches will break easily in high winds. Willows may be propagated through cuttings. A willow roots so easily from a cutting that new trees springs up from branches that were broken from a parent tree by wind and fell to the ground.

Step 1

Select a branch on a healthy weeping willow tree. The branch should have no signs of disease and should be at least as thick as a pencil.

Step 2

Saturate a cloth with bleach.

Step 3

Swipe pruning shears with the bleach-saturated cloth. Also do this between taking willow cuttings to prevent the spread of disease.

Step 4

Snip through the selected branch. To do this, use the pruning shears to cut straight across the branch's grain at a point 12 inches from the branch's tip, near where a leaf emerges (the leaf node).

Step 5

Place the cut end of your willow branch into a sandwich bag along with 1 tbsp. of water to prevent the cutting from drying out.

Step 6

Mix a rooting mix with 1 part peat moss and 1 part sand in a 6-inch container.

Step 7

Water the container until the rooting mix is as wet as a wrung-out sponge.

Step 8

Prepare the willow branch for planting. Strip the lower 2/3 of the willow branch of its leaves. Dip the end of the branch in rooting hormone, and insert it 2/3 of the way into the rooting mix.

Step 9

Cover the container with a freezer bag, and place it into a sunny windowsill out of direct sunlight.

Step 10

Check the container daily and water when the rooting mix appears to have dried. The soil should remain as damp as a wrung-out sponge.

Step 11

Remove the freezer bag when the willow cutting produces roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth
  • Bleach
  • Pruning shears
  • Sandwich bag
  • Tablespoon
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • 6-inch container
  • Rooting hormone
  • Freezer bag


  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Propagation of Woody Ornamentals by Cuttings
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension:Salix spp., Weeping Willow
  • North Dakota State University Extension: Questions on Willow
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Trees, Shrubs and Vines For Minnesota Landscapes

Who Can Help

  • Illinois Wildflowers: Black Willow
  • North Carolina State University: Weeping Willow
Keywords: rooting trees, making cuttings, propagating willow trees, start weeping willow

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."