Weeping willows are hardy and attractive trees. Their graceful, fountain-like branches provide good shade during the summer, and the shade of a willow is a perfect place to read or enjoy a picnic. Once willows take, they require very little care. For the first year of their life, however, willows are a bit delicate.
Plant your weeping willow tree 6 weeks or more before the first frost. Otherwise, it may not be hardy enough to survive the winter.
Plant your willow as quickly as possible. If the roots dry up, it can damage or kill the tree.
Dig a hole about twice the size of the root ball, and plant the weeping willow inside. Cover the roots completely and pack the soil down to prevent air pockets from forming.
Immediately water the willow by leaving a hose running at the base. For the first year, keep the soil around the willow damp.
Put a layer of mulch around the base of the willow. This will help to keep the ground moist.
For the first year, add root stimulator to the water every two weeks.
Do not water the tree during the winter. It loses its leaves and goes dormant during that season, and does not require water.
From the second year on, water the willow only during extremely dry spells. In general, it will do fine without water or fertilizer.
Prune your willow after the second year. Pull black, brittle dead branches off near the base of the tree. You can also cut back the live branches with a hedge clipper so that they don't droop to the ground.