How to Start a Weeping Willow Limb


Few trees match the relaxed splendor of the weeping willow tree. Weeping willow trees grow to a rounded height between 40 and 50 feet and live for 30 to 80 years. Mature willows form a drooping canopy with their bending branches. Like all willows, the weeping willow grows from properly planted cuttings. Small branches and limbs cut from mature trees will begin forming roots when correctly planted.

Step 1

Select a location that provides good exposure to sun. Avoid areas at the bottom of a hill, where chilly temperatures settle, or that experience frequent flooding after rainfalls. Willow trees prefer moist, well-drained soils.

Step 2

Remove all weeds and current vegetation from your selected area. Use a garden shovel to loosen the soil to a depth of approximately 12 inches. Pull out any stubborn roots or rocks.

Step 3

Remove a healthy branch from a willow tree with a sharp knife or saw in the spring, when the flexible branches bend easily. Cut the section at a slight angle near the base of the limb. Do not allow the severed surface to dry out; cover it with a damp cloth if transporting to another location.

Step 4

Plant your willow cutting into the ground as soon as possible. Although some plants require submersion in water to root out, willows readily form roots directly in the soil. Dig a hole in your prepared site deep enough to encase approximately one-fourth of the length of the cut limb. Since the cutting has no roots, keep the hole narrow.

Step 5

Gently strip the leaves off the lower part of the limb. Place the lower section in the hole and backfill with soil. Pack down gently to remove air pockets, then form a small bowl out of the soil around the base of the cutting to retain water.

Step 6

Water your willow cutting immediately after planting, and keep the soil slightly moist for the first few weeks. Provide water to established willows during droughts and periods of intense heat, and keep weeds away by pulling them as they appear.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shovel
  • Willow cutting
  • Sharp knife or saw
  • Damp cloth


  • New Mexico State University: Starting Willow Trees from Stem Cuttings
  • JPR Environmental: Willow Cuttings
  • State University of New York: Willow Biomass Producer's Handbook
Keywords: willow tree, willow cutting, tree cuttings

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.