How to Cut a Weeping Willow


Weeping willows are known for their long, swooping branches and fine, thin leaves. The trees grows very fast and require regular cutting and shaping in their first two to three growing seasons. Cutting the tree properly while it is young will help overcome problems later. Weeping willow trees that are not routinely cut may become unhealthy as willow wood breaks easily. Breaks serve as entry points to pests and disease. Plan to cut your weeping willow in the winter.

Step 1

Cut and remove any diseased, dead, damaged or decaying branches. You will need hand pruners for limbs up to 1/2 inch in diameter and lopping shears for larger branches.

Step 2

Cut and shorten any long limbs that hang too close to the ground and interfere with walking or mowing.

Step 3

Cut and remove any limbs that rub against each other. Opt to cut and remove the smaller limbs.

Step 4

Cut and remove any suckers that are growing off the tree's trunk or out of the ground from the tree's roots. Identify suckers by their smooth bark.

Step 5

Cut lower branches off as the tree matures. The lower branches will begin to die back as the tree grows taller. When this is identified, cut them off.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners
  • Lopping shears


  • U.S. Forest Service: Weeping Willow
  • Kansas State: Pruning Weeping Trees and Shrubs

Who Can Help

  • Kemper Center for Home Gardening: Salix Babylonica
Keywords: cut weeping willows, trim weeping willows, pruning weeping willows

About this Author

Leigh Walker has been working as a writer since 1995. She serves as a ghostwriter for many online clients creating website content, e-books and newsletters. She works as a title flagger and writer for Demand Studios, primarily writing home and garden pieces for and Walker pursued an English major/psychology minor at Pellissippi State.