Should You Plant A Weeping Willow?

Weeping willows are often considered to be the queens of the tree world, with their long, flowing tendrils and overall majestic appearance. Planting a weeping willow in your yard is a great way to give your landscaping a sense of whimsy and relaxation. But before you head out and buy a weeping willow sapling to stick in the ground, make sure you know what planting and maintaining these trees entails.

Do you have the right yard for a weeping willow?

The most important consideration when planting a weeping willow is where to place it. These trees thrive in rich, moist soil. In nature, they're often seen on the banks of creeks and along the edges of ponds, and indeed, this is where a willow will develop the most attractively. You can plant a willow in drier soil and it soil survive, but it will never look as majestic and well-nourished as one planted by the side of a pond or ditch. If you don't have a water source in your yard, just be aware that your tree may not be as vibrant or flowing as you're imagining.

Thankfully, willows are tolerant when it comes to sunlight – they'll do fine in partial shade or full sun. Make sure you have enough space, too. A little sapling that you bring home will grow quickly – adding 24 inches of height or more in a single season.  When mature (in about 15 years), the tree will be between 30 and 50 feet tall.

Do you have the resources and time to care for a weeping willow?

The queen of trees is not low maintenance. When your willow is young, you will need to have it pruned regularly to ensure it maintains a proper shape. Lower limbs need to be removed so that there is space left under the tree to enjoy the shade created by its tendrils. And even when the tree is mature, it will need pruning to remove dead and dying tendrils.

There are a number of diseases and problems to watch for in your willow, too. The trees are prone to fungus (since they thrive in such moist environments where fungi also thrive), and if you see fungal spots on the leaves or branches, you may need to have the tree sprayed with fungicides. Tent caterpillars also love to hang out on willow trees, and while they don't cause damage in small numbers, they can weaken the tree if they become too prevalent. Insecticides might be needed to keep them away.

If you have a moist location, enough space, and the resources to prune and spray the tree as needed, a weeping willow can be the perfect showcase element in your landscape. Contact a business, such as Johnson's Tree Service & Stump Grinding, for more information about planting trees on your lot.