There are many types of willow trees. They are often beloved among gardeners because of their graceful, weeping form and their ability to thrive in less-than-ideal moisture conditions. Willow trees are fast-growing trees that can achieve heights of 50 feet. There are ways, however, of encouraging them to grow even taller. It's essential to give them the optimum growing environment, with the nutrients they need to not only grow, but thrive.
Plant willow trees in a full sun location to get them to grow taller. They need sunlight for most of the day to get the nutrients that encourage growth above and below the ground.
Train young willow trees so they develop a strong, central trunk. Remove any branches that compete with the main, center branch. Keep branches in place that have strong, wide crotches but prune those that are connected to the trunk with narrow V-shaped joints.
Water willow trees generously to promote quick growth. Willows can grow as much as 10 feet annually. While they tolerate drought, the species grows the fastest in moist environments. Keep the soil under the tree consistently moist, not allowing it to dry out between waterings.
Feed willow trees with an organic compost. This will add nutrients to the soil, which encourages accelerated growth. Put several shovelfuls of the compost around the base of the tree. Use garden tools to work it into the soil, to a depth of a few inches. Water to help the nutrients reach the roots.
Cut off dead, diseased and dying branches any time of year. These are taking energy from the rest of the willow tree. Cut them off where they meet healthy wood.
Prune willow trees in the early spring to control the spread and growth of the tree. Remove some of the lower branches to help the tree to grow taller.