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About Weeping Willow Trees

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About Weeping Willow Trees

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Overview

Weeping willow trees are deciduous -- trees that lose their leaves in the fall. The tree is a native of western China and grew in ancient Babylon, which is where its Latin name, salix babylonica, comes from. The weeping willow tree is a fast grower, growing 8 to 10 feet in a year. Unfortunately, fast-growing trees do not have a long lifespan -- the weeping willow's is 50 to 100 years.

Features

Weeping willow trees grow to about 50 feet tall, with an equal spread. The branches split into multiple thin stems; these hang down in the weeping form. The leaves are olive-green on top, silver on the botton, thin -- 1/2 inch wide -- and shaped like a lance up to 6 inches long. Some of the newer cultivars have yellow-green leaves. The flowers are 1 inch long and fuzzy. They appear at the same time as the leaves. The tree also produces a light brown inedible seed pod. The bark is gray-brown and furrowed.

Climate

The weeping willow tree is hardy in planting zones 4 to 9, all but the coldest and hottest zones in the continental United States. It can be planted in zone 10, but it will need a good deal of water. Certain hybrid varieties grow as far north as zone 2, which is in southern Canada.

Environment

The weeping willow needs a lot of water. It will do well in all soil types as long as it does not drain fast and is not allow to get dry. The tree also needs a lot of sun. It will survive in shady conditions, but it will not attain its proper shape and will have a shaggy, disheveled look instead of a graceful, flowing appearance.

Uses

The weeping willow does best when planted near a pond or stream where it can get all the water it needs and help with erosion control. The wood is used to make furniture, fiberboard and plywood.

Problems

The roots of a weeping willow will seek out water. In doing so, they will break into water lines and sewer pipes. Thus, it should not be planted within 140 feet of a house. It is constantly dropping leaves and small twigs. It is also vulnerable to canker diseases. Anoplophora glabriponnis is a boring insect that can do severe damage.

Keywords: weeping willow, deciduous trees, salix babylonica

About this Author

Regina Sass is based in the Adirondack Region of New York State. She has been a writer for 10 years writing for publications in the real estate and retail industries. Online experience includes writing,advertising and editing for an educational web site. Sass is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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