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How to Root Weeping Willow Trees From a Branch

By Melody Lee ; Updated September 21, 2017

Weeping willows are fast-growing trees that thrive in moist conditions, but will also grow in dry areas. They grow 35 to 45 feet tall and wide and have long pendulous branches. They are grown for their attractive form and have insignificant blooms and fruit. Rooting weeping willow branches is easy because they have preformed rooting initials, according to Ron Smith, North Dakota State University horticulturist. Preformed rooting initials are groups of slightly organized root cells.

Root Cuttings in the Ground

Choose a location in full sun to partial shade with any type of soil for your branch cuttings. Use a hoe and rake to remove the weeds and grass from a 12-inch diameter circle for each cutting.

Use hand pruners to cut one or more semi-hard or fully hardened branches at a 45-degree angle near a joint or bud. The branches should be 1 to 2 inches in diameter at the base and up to 6 feet long.

Stick one cutting about 6 inches into the soil in a cleared area. Hold the cutting straight, while you use your foot to firm the soil around it. Insert a wooden stake about 6 inches away from the cutting. Wrap a piece of plant tape or soft cord around the stake and then around the cutting in a figure eight. Tie the tape or cord snugly so the cutting is held up straight without being abraded. Water the cutting thoroughly with a water hose.

Keep the cutting moist until it roots, which takes about 4 to 6 weeks. Continue watering on a regular schedule, based on the amount of water and sun the tree receives.

Root Cuttings In Pots

Fill a 1-gallon container with all-purpose potting soil for each cutting.

Use hand pruners to cut one or more semi-hard or fully hardened branches at a 45-degree angle near a joint or bud. The branches should be 1 to 2 inches in diameter at the base and up to 6 feet long.

Stick one cutting about 6 inches into each container. Hold the cutting straight, while you use your hand to firm the soil around it. Insert a wooden stake into the pot with the cutting. Wrap a piece of plant tape or soft cord around the stake and then around the cutting in a figure eight. Tie the tape or cord snugly so the cutting is held up straight without being abraded. Water the cutting thoroughly with a water hose.

Keep the cutting moist until it roots--about 4 to 6 weeks. Transplant the tree to a location in full sun to partial shade with any type of soil. Continue watering on a regular schedule, based on the amount of water and sun the tree receives.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Hoe
  • Rake
  • Hand pruners
  • Plant tape or soft cord
  • Wooden stake
  • Water hose

Tip

  • Branch cuttings should be taken during the warm season, according to the University of Florida, or in late winter to early spring, according to the New Mexico State University.

About the Author

 

Melody Lee holds a degree in landscape design, is a Florida Master Gardener, and has more than 30 years of gardening experience. She currently works as a writer and copy editor. Her previous jobs include reporter, photographer and editor for a weekly newspaper.