How to Plant a Weeping Willow


Weeping willows add a special something to a property with graceful branches and leaves that sway in the breeze. This fast growing tree provides excellent shade for a yard but should be placed far away from septic and sewer lines due to its quick growing roots. Consider placing a weeping willow far enough away from your home to prevent damage to piping and electrical lines.

Step 1

Select the site to plant your weeping willow that allows full or partial sunlight and adequate drainage. Weeping willow grows very quickly (7 or more feet per year) so provide plenty of growing space for this fast-growing tree.

Step 2

Remove all grass in an area about 3 to 4 times the size of the root ball. Dig at least 6 inches down for complete removal. Discard or place the grass in areas of your lawn needing patch repair.

Step 3

Dig a hole 3 times the circumference of the root ball and 2 times as deep, removing all soil completely from the hole. You can place this soil on a tarp to prevent mixing dirt into your existing grass or simply place the soil near the hole.

Step 4

Add about 1/3 volume of peat moss to the pile of soil and mix together. This measurement doesn't need to be exact but try to achieve the ratio of 2/3 dirt to 1/3 peat moss to improve soil aeration and drainage.

Step 5

Throw a few handfuls of peat moss into the hole.

Step 6

Cut the plant pot with pruning clipper or a sharp utility knife, being careful not to damage the roots of the weeping willow. If the plant is wrapped in burlap, simply clip the strings and any wrapping to loosen the roots. Burlap will decompose when buried.

Step 7

Place the weeping willow root ball into the hole. The top of the root ball should be even with the soil surface or a few inches above the soil surface. Lift the plant and add soil beneath the root ball to adjust positioning.

Step 8

Fill in around the weeping willow root ball with your peat moss/soil mixture. Press firmly as you add dirt to remove any air pockets. Continue filling in around the weeping willow tree until level with the surrounding surface.

Step 9

Water thoroughly at the base of the tree. Allow the water to soak into the ground and water again. Keep an eye on your weeping willow for the next few weeks; watering as needed based on weather conditions until the tree becomes established.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade shovel
  • Peat moss
  • Tarp (optional)
  • Utility knife/pruning clippers
  • Garden hose and water


  • University of Georgia
  • Nazareth College of Rochester
Keywords: weeping willow, planting weeping willow, weeping willow tree

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with over three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various websites and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.