How to Plant a River Weeping Willow


River weeping willows are an old-time tree that can be traced back to ancient times. They are elegant and hardy, requiring little attention to thrive. Willows grow very fast and are typically found along river banks. They are more than aesthetically pleasing. River weeping willow trees are used in river control work to prevent banks from washing away during flooding. You can plant a river weeping willow in many parts of the United States.

Step 1

Choose a planting location that is in partial shade or full sun. River weeping willows should be put in the ground at least six weeks before the first frost of the year. Don't choose a spot that is in full shade, as the tree needs at least some sunlight to survive.

Step 2

Avoid planting river weeping willows in heavy, clay soil. Make sure the soil is loose and full of nutrients. If the soil is lacking in nutrients, add fertilizer to the planting area.

Step 3

Dig a hole at least 2 feet wider and deeper than the willow's root ball. Use the nursery container as a judge on the exact size.

Step 4

Place the tree in the hole and center it. Shovel the removed soil back into the hole and cover the roots. Press the dirt down to remove air pockets.

Step 5

Water the tree until the soil is moist.

Step 6

Fertilize the soil around river weeping willow trees. Choose a balanced food with a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio. Do not let the food touch the tree.

Step 7

Water the river weeping willow during dry spells in the first year of growth. If you notice drooping leaves, the tree is either getting too much or not enough water. Analyze your watering habits and make adjustments.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Fertilizer


  • Weeping Willow Trees
  • Fast-Growing Trees Nursery: Weeping Willow Tree Planting Instructions
  • NDSU Extension Service: Willow
Keywords: river weeping willow, weeping willow, plant willow

About this Author

Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist with experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several Web sites, including eHow, LIVESTRONG.COM,, Travels and GardenGuides, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.