Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Propagate Weeping Willow Trees

By Jack S. Waverly ; Updated September 21, 2017

Many people are familiar with weeping willow trees. These are the trees that look like they are surrounded by a curtain of leaves and sway in the wind. Although weeping willow trees came to Europe in the mid-1700s, they become popular about 1900, thanks to a German nursery, according to JPRenrivonmental.com. The trees can grow to 50 feet high and have a radius as wide as the tree is tall. With proper planning and care, you can propagate weeping willow trees in your own yard.

Find a full-grown weeping willow tree. Look around your area for a tree that looks healthy and has a good amount of stock to choose from. Look in the spring and ask the owner of the tree if you can have a branch from the tree.

Get a branch from the tree in winter when the tree is dormant. The best time to get the branch is between February and March. Choose a branch that is an inch in diameter and between 1 to 6 feet long.

Pick a location to plant your tree. Find a spot that gets lots of sun and where you don't plan on placing any other flowers or small plants. Weeping willow trees grow tall and create lots of shade. Pick a site near water or good irrigation.

Prepare the site as close as spring as possible to avoid a hard frost in the ground that can kill the sapling. Dig a square pit that's 18 inches across and 18 inches deep. Break up the soil from the pit and add compost to it.

Plant the branch by placing the cut end in the hole. Pile in soil and firm it up so the branch can't be pulled out. Test this, and if the branch moves, replant and pack the soil tighter.

Place a stake behind the branch and tie it down so wind doesn't knock it over. Place a rabbit fence made of wire mesh around it so it doesn't get eaten.

Water your tree on a schedule. Plan to water it once a week if there has been no rain that week. If there has been enough rain to dampen the ground, don't water the tree. Keep the grass around the tree taller to help retain water and moisture for the root system during the first year.

Remove the lower branches after the first year--those below the middle of the tree. This will help the upper branches grow and keep the trunk clean. Prune only if you spot dead or diseased branches from that point onward.


Things You Will Need

  • Branch from a grown willow tree
  • Shovel
  • Watering can
  • Pruning sheers
  • Wood stake
  • Mesh fencing


  • Don't plant weeping willow trees near septic systems or wells. The roots will seek water and can break through septic or well walls.