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How to Care for a Weeping Willow

By Sonia Acone ; Updated September 21, 2017

One of the most beautiful and graceful of trees, the weeping willow does well in zones 3 to 9 with full sun. Even though they are often found near rivers and lakes, weeping willows are adaptable to a variety of soils and growing conditions. They are useful to plant in wet areas as they have the ability to soak up a great deal of water. Weeping willows can easily grow 10 feet in a year and can reach a mature height of 40 to 50 feet in just a few years. They are one of the first trees to get new leaves in the spring and one of the last to lose them in the fall.

Planting and Care

Select a site in full sun. Weeping willows should not be planted within 50 feet of water or sewer lines as the roots will seek out water and could cause damage.

Planting should be done in the fall before the first frost or early in the spring. Dig a hole twice the size of the root-ball and place it in the hole. Cover and compact the soil so there aren't any air pockets that could dry out the roots. Water generously.

Water should be given to young trees regularly, especially during periods of heat or drought. If the leaves look droopy, they are either getting too much or not enough water.

Pruning should be done in the fall. Prune off the lower branches of young trees to allow headroom as the tree grows. Upper branches should be allowed to droop to the ground.

During the first year or so, keep the base of the tree free of weeds or grass.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Bare-root weeping willow tree
  • Water
  • Pruning shears

About the Author


Sonia Acone is a full-time freelance writer in northeast Pennsylvania. She has been published by The Wild Rose Press and is currently writing children's picture books, as well as online content. Acone writes articles for eHow and GardenGuides.com. She has been freelance writing since 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and professional writing from Elizabethtown College.