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Soil Conditions for a Weeping Willow Garden

By Izzy McPhee ; Updated September 21, 2017
Weeping willow for ponds
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Steve Jurvetson

Weeping willows make a visual impact in the landscape that many trees fail to match. Their long and wispy limbs provide cooling shade after a hot workday. Pliable and strong, their limbs can also be used in various crafts. Weeping willows grow at their best in wet conditions so are especially suited to hard-to-plant wet areas. Weeping willows will grow in nearly any soil but are happiest around ponds and other areas where moisture is prevalent.

Nutrition Requirements for Weeping Willows

Willow trees prefer loamy garden soil that is rich in organic matter and nitrogen. Well-aged livestock manure turned into the ground before planting will raise the nutrient content of the soil, providing ideal growing conditions for the tree. The addition of either 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 fertilizers will help the tree grow and stay healthy. Compost or mulch can be added around the tree to retain moisture and give additional food for the plant.

Water Requirements for Weeping Willows

Weeping willows thrive in areas of high moisture. Newly planted young trees should not be allowed to dry out or they may die. Once it is established in the garden, a weeping willow can tolerate short periods of drought. During extended dry weather, supplemental watering may be needed.

Drainage Requirements for Weeping Willows

Weeping willows often grow beside ponds, rivers, ditches and other waterlogged areas with ease. When planted in sandy or other fast-draining garden soils the roots may dry out; if soil will not hold water the addition of organic compost and mulch will provide better growing conditions.

Weed Control around Weeping Willows

Keep the soil free of weeds for the best tree growth. Herbicides should be avoided as they may kill not only the weeds but the tree as well. Hand-picking weeds and using mulch around each tree is recommended. Landscaping fabric may be used beneath mulch to help keep the willow garden free of weeds.

Amending Soil around Mature Weeping Willows

Tree fertilizer stakes can be driven in the soil around mature trees as per the manufacturer’s directions. A topdressing of aged compost and mulch should be added as the older ones break down. Over time garden soils can become depleted of nutrients, topdressings of organic matter and and fertilizer is useful in keeping plants healthy.