How to Care for Weeping Willows


The weeping willow (Salix babylonica) is one of the most graceful and attractive trees that you can add to your landscape. They are one of the first trees to sprout leaves in spring and among the last to lose them in the fall. Weeping willows prefer full sun and moist soil, though they are fairly tolerant of drought conditions. They do not require excessive care and are hardy in USDA zones 2 through 9, depending upon the variety.

Step 1

Prepare the planting location by loosening the soil to a depth of 12 to 18 inches. Dig a hole that is twice as wide and twice as deep as the roots of the weeping willow tree. Plant the tree and replace the soil carefully, making sure that the roots are well covered and no air pockets remain.

Step 2

Water until the soil is well-moistened at the time of planting. Add a 2-inch layer of organic mulch around the tree, expanding the mulch range as the tree grows to protect the roots. Continue to water the tree during the first growing season, anytime less than 1 inch of rain falls in a week.

Step 3

Fertilize the tree sparingly with a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Do not pour the fertilizer onto the tree, instead feed it at soil level.

Step 4

Prune to prevent the branches from rubbing against the tree trunk. Cut some secondary branches off to prevent the larger branches from becoming too heavy and breaking.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not plant weeping willow trees near sewer or water lines, as the extensive root system of this tree can cause damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden fork
  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Lopping shears


  • University of Florida: Weeping Willow
  • North Carolina State University: Weeping Willow
  • Fast Growing Trees: Weeping Willow Instructions
  • Trees USA: Weeping Willow
Keywords: weeping willows, weeping willow care, grow weeping willows, plant weeping willow, weeping willow tree

About this Author

Annita Lawson has been working as a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has been published in various web and print outlets, including The Dabbling Mum, A Virtuous Woman, and Pediatrics for Parents. Lawson is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Southeast Kentucky Community College. She enjoys sharing all that she has learned about parenting, healthy eating and living a frugal lifestyle.