Trees fulfill a number of purposes in landscapes. These large plants provide shady areas, as well as form windbreaks and visual barriers between structures. Willows (Salix) enhance an area with their quick growth and long, narrow leaves. Like other trees, willow trees require certain elements to thrive and grow. Many willow trees grow to a mature height of nearly 30 or 40 feet. Some types of willows, such as Pacific willows and Peachleaf willows, can grow up to 60 and 70 feet tall. Properly care for your willow trees to encourage healthy, tall growth.
Select a location that receives full sunlight to partial shade for your willow tree, to provide adequate light for tall growth. Do not plant willows in areas near large trees that block the sunlight and rob the soil of necessary nutrients. For the tallest growth, select an area that is near a water source, such as a spot along a stream bank or near the edge of a pond.
Loosen the top 8 to 12 inches of soil in a diameter equal to the canopy of your willow tree. Dig a hole twice the width of the rootball and deep enough to allow the surface of the rootball to sit level with the surrounding surface area. Place your rootball in the hole, and fill in with soil.
Pile up a 3 to 4 inch rim of soil in a circle near the outside edge of the planted rootball. This dam will help direct moisture downwards, to the tree's roots. Soak the soil around the roots of your newly planted willow tree.
Grow a tall willow tree by keeping the soil slightly moist at all times. Check the amount of moisture near your willow tree's roots. Dig a small hole near the base of the tree to the level of its roots. Use your finger to feel for dampness at this level. Add water if the soil feels dry. Apply about 2 inches of water every week to satisfy your willow tree. Trees growing near streams and ponds seldom require supplemental watering to keep the soil moist.
Fertilize your willow tree to encourage healthy growth. Use a liquid fertilizer formulated for use on willow trees. Mix and apply your fertilizer according to the package instructions. Apply your fertilizer about once a month during the active growing season.