About Weeping Willow Trees


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.