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How to Root Weeping Willow Trees From a Branch

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How to Root Weeping Willow Trees From a Branch

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Overview

Weeping willows are fast-growing trees that thrive in moist conditions, but will also grow in dry areas. They grow 35 to 45 feet tall and wide and have long pendulous branches. They are grown for their attractive form and have insignificant blooms and fruit. Rooting weeping willow branches is easy because they have preformed rooting initials, according to Ron Smith, North Dakota State University horticulturist. Preformed rooting initials are groups of slightly organized root cells.

Root Cuttings in the Ground

Step 1

Choose a location in full sun to partial shade with any type of soil for your branch cuttings. Use a hoe and rake to remove the weeds and grass from a 12-inch diameter circle for each cutting.

Step 2

Use hand pruners to cut one or more semi-hard or fully hardened branches at a 45-degree angle near a joint or bud. The branches should be 1 to 2 inches in diameter at the base and up to 6 feet long.

Step 3

Stick one cutting about 6 inches into the soil in a cleared area. Hold the cutting straight, while you use your foot to firm the soil around it. Insert a wooden stake about 6 inches away from the cutting. Wrap a piece of plant tape or soft cord around the stake and then around the cutting in a figure eight. Tie the tape or cord snugly so the cutting is held up straight without being abraded. Water the cutting thoroughly with a water hose.

Step 4

Keep the cutting moist until it roots, which takes about 4 to 6 weeks. Continue watering on a regular schedule, based on the amount of water and sun the tree receives.

Root Cuttings In Pots

Step 1

Fill a 1-gallon container with all-purpose potting soil for each cutting.

Step 2

Use hand pruners to cut one or more semi-hard or fully hardened branches at a 45-degree angle near a joint or bud. The branches should be 1 to 2 inches in diameter at the base and up to 6 feet long.

Step 3

Stick one cutting about 6 inches into each container. Hold the cutting straight, while you use your hand to firm the soil around it. Insert a wooden stake into the pot with the cutting. Wrap a piece of plant tape or soft cord around the stake and then around the cutting in a figure eight. Tie the tape or cord snugly so the cutting is held up straight without being abraded. Water the cutting thoroughly with a water hose.

Step 4

Keep the cutting moist until it roots--about 4 to 6 weeks. Transplant the tree to a location in full sun to partial shade with any type of soil. Continue watering on a regular schedule, based on the amount of water and sun the tree receives.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe
  • Rake
  • Hand pruners
  • Plant tape or soft cord
  • Wooden stake
  • Water hose

References

  • University of Florida: Salix babylonica
  • New Mexico State University: Starting Willow Trees
  • Texas A&M University: Principles of Propagation

Who Can Help

  • University of Washington: Willow Cuttings
  • Virginia Tech: Weeping Willow
  • United States Department of Agriculture: Salix spp.
Keywords: root Weeping Willow trees, root Weeping Willow branches, Weeping Willow branch cuttings

About this Author

Melody Lee worked as a newspaper reporter, copywriter and editor for 5 years. In addition, she has edited magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design and is a Florida master gardener. She has more than 25 years of gardening experience, which includes working at nurseries and greenhouses.