How to Root Weeping Willow Branches

Overview

Growing to heights of 35 to 45 feet in USDA hardiness zones 2 through 9A, weeping willows (Salix spp) are easily identifiable by their downward-flowing branches. The round-shaped crown often reaches widths equal to the tree's height. Seen often near water, a common misconception is the weeping willow requires very moist soil conditions to thrive, according to the Forest Service Department of Agriculture. With proper irrigation, weeping willows can live in areas not located on waterfronts or shorelines. To propagate weeping willows, root a branch from a tree that is at least one year old.

Step 1

Obtain a one-year old healthy willow branch cutting. If purchasing the cutting from a nursery, leave the cutting in the original packing material and place in the refrigerator upon arrival.

Step 2

Open the drainage holes in the bottom of a 10-inch pot. Fill the pot 3/4 full with a mixture of equal parts potting soil, peat and sand.

Step 3

Dig a 3- to 4-inch deep hole in the center of the potting mixture to plant the willow branch.

Step 4

Sterilize a sharp cutting blade by spraying disinfectant spray on all sides of the blade.

Step 5

Pour a small amount of rooting hormone powder into a shallow bowl.

Step 6

Remove the willow branch from the refrigerator. Remove all packing.

Step 7

Place the blade at a 45-degree angle against the bottom part of the willow branch. Remove 1/4 of the branch with the sterile knife.

Step 8

Dip the cut end immediately in the rooting hormone powder, covering the bottom quarter of the branch in powder.

Step 9

Place the willow branch in the hole. Press the potting soil mixture around the branch to provide support.

Step 10

Wet the soil until water flows out of the drainage holes. Allow the soil to drain for thirty minutes. Place the pot in a partially shaded window.

Step 11

Water whenever the top 2 inches of soil become dry to the touch.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid over-watering the willow branch to prevent root rot from excessive moisture. Avoid exposure to full sun while the branch roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Willow branch cutting
  • 10-inch pot
  • Potting soil
  • Peat
  • Sand
  • Cutting blade
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Rooting hormone powder
  • Shallow bowl
  • Water

References

  • Washington State University: Propagating Deciduous and Evergreen Shrubs, Trees, Vines with Stem Cuttings
  • Forest Service Department of Agriculture: Salix spp
  • "The Homeowner's Complete Tree & Shrub Handbook"; Penelope O'Sullivan; 2007
Keywords: root weeping willow, root willow branch, weeping willow propagation

About this Author

Lisha Smith writes for several blogs and has freelanced for six years. She has a Bachelor of Arts from UNC-Greensboro in psychology. Smith has self-published several books. Her areas of experience include gardening, cooking, home improvement, pets and mental health.