How to Plant Willow Trees


With more than 75 species, willow trees are popular in North America and Canada. They tend to be fast-growing trees that achieve heights of 35 to 50 feet. Willows can tolerate moist conditions. The bark is distinctive in appearance because it's thick, rough and flaky. Plant willow trees in various soil conditions, as long as the site gets full sun. They do best in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 through 8.

Step 1

Plant willow trees as soon as possible after purchasing and make sure it is at least six weeks before the first frost. If the roots appear to be dry, sprinkle them with some water. If you cannot plant the tree immediately, store it in a dry, cool, dark place like a basement.

Step 2

Make the planting hole twice as wide and deep as the willow's root ball. This gives the roots the room they need to spread out. Use the tree as a judge to determine size as you dig.

Step 3

Place the tree centered in the hole. Make sure it is sitting straight up and down. Refill the hole with the removed soil, packing it in around the roots.

Step 4

Press the soil down to remove air pockets. The air will dry out roots if they are allowed to remain.

Step 5

Water the weeping willow thoroughly after planting. During the first year of growth, water the tree only during extended dry spells.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never plant willow trees near sewer tanks or lines because they have invasive root systems and will cause problems.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Willow tree
  • Shovel
  • Soil


  • Willow
  • Fast Growing Trees: Weeping Willow Trees
  • Wisconsin Environmental Education for Kids: Willow Tree

Who Can Help

  • Arbor Day Foundation: Willow, Weeping
Keywords: plant weeping willow trees, plant willow trees, grow willow tree

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.