The willow tree is a sight to look at; they are known to make a high focal point in landscaping and increase the attractiveness of your yard, adding an elegant touch. These trees, since ancient times, have been an inspiration for art, poetry, and music. The Willow tree, scientifically known as Salix babylonica, has leaves that are lance-shaped and grow to a length of 6-3 inches long, and in fall these leaves turn yellow right before dropping. The bark of the tree is rough with long deep ridges and a gray tone. The tree gets yellow catkins, which are flowers in the late winter or spring. The Willow tree has a short lifespan of 30 years and is relatively fast-growing. Plant a Weeping Willow in your yard to add a unique touch.
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Types of Willow Trees
This beautiful weeping willow comes in many different types as we have trees and scrub willows, but their love for moist soil and occasionally invasive roots are consistent. A Willow tree might even be spotted growing near a river or stream. There are many types of these trees, the Weeping, and pussy willows being the most well known.
- Weeping willows: Characterized by their arching stems that create a beautiful view as they dangle delicately in the breeze.
- Pussy willows: Pussy willows are wetland plants in the wild and one of the first plants to bloom in spring as they display their fuzzy buds.
- Gold or White willows: A species introduced from Europe and widely used as screens.
- Black willows: Found along waterways, they are native to some parts of North America.
- Corkscrew willows: A pleasant sight in winter, they have appealing spiral stems.
How to Plant and Grow a Weeping Willow Tree
Grow a Weeping Willow from a Cutting
Weeping willows can be grown from stem cuttings. These cuttings are taken from mature weeping willows that are dormant and are at least two feet long. The cuttings can be placed in the soil directly during late winter or early spring. Then all these cuttings need to develop healthy roots in moist soil throughout the growing season.
Weeping Willow Tree Where to a Plant
As stated earlier, weeping willows are fast-growing trees; growing up to 10 feet per year! These large trees require ample room as they grow between 30 to 50 feet tall and wide, so it’s essential to pick your planting site wisely. Their roots systems are known to spread out much farther than the tree is tall, but with shallow roots often growing up to the surface of the ground. PVC lines are much less prone to being victims of Weeping willow roots, but it is still advisable to not plant the near septic tanks, septic systems, sewer lines, or sidewalks.
How to Care for a Weeping Willow Tree
Weeping willows are somewhat hardy with agriculture plant hardiness zones ranging from 6-8. They can also tolerate drier soil as long as the soil doesn’t drain rapidly, it can withstand soils such as sandy loam to clay, alkaline or acidic. However, willow trees love to be planted in soil that is rich and moist. Light requirements range from full sun to partial shade, and they are mostly drought tolerant. Just be sure to keep them watered in dry conditions, or they will begin to lose some of their leaves.
Weeping Willow Tree Problems:
The Roots Can Clog Water Pipes
PVC pipes, which most of our houses are plumbed with, very rarely leak, so weeping willow roots are less likely to invade these types of boilers. The problem was much more common in the old days when concrete, metal, or clay pipes were used, which were quite prone to water leaks attracting the willow tree roots. So the bottom line is that pipes that do not leak are not likely to be invaded by willow roots. It is still advisable to plant willow trees at least 50 feet away from any underground lines.
Weeping Willows Lose Branches
It’s fair to call them messy as you will be picking up quite a few twigs every time you go to clean your yard. The tree also occasionally drops larger limbs, so be sure not to plant them near a pool or anywhere that could be affected by this. As the Willow grows its beauty will grow on you making these small issues obsolete.
Weeping Willow Tree Diseases
Willows are more prone to diseases and insects than most trees. These diseases include but are not limited to blank canker, crown gall, root rot, willow scab, and more. They also tend to attract insects such as; aphid, which are small clear to black bugs that feed on the underside of leaves. On the other hand, Weeping Willows also attract a few insects that do some good. These include butterflies, gypsy moths, and bees.
The Weeping Willow trees are beautiful as they add so much to the landscape and can create a high focal point. They tend to get messy and have a few problems ,but they are a true piece of art to look at and make for a great shade tree. Now that you know the ends and outs of how to plant and care for your very own Weeping Willow tree, you can be prepared for anything it throws at you. Please refer to the articles below for more information concerning this majestic tree.
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