Listed among the deciduous trees, the weeping willow is originally from the northern hemisphere. It is a large tree, with flowers arranged in catkins, and which grows in damp and sunny areas. It should therefore be grown around a body of water. It is fast-growing and the taking of cuttings is an effective method to ensure its propagation. At the time of cultivation, it is even possible to braid the stems of willows to make a beautiful screen.

Native to China, a weeping willow is a deciduous plant that can reach a height of 25 meters. It is resistant to disease, provided that it does not suffer from water shortage during the summer, and is easily grown from cuttings. Thus, even those who have never gardened before will be able to do it. It must be stressed that these trees should not be planted in small plantations or near houses, as they prefer deep, moist and fresh soil.

Planting weeping willows from cuttings

Autumn is the most suitable period for proceeding to the willow’s taking of cuttings. First, prepare terra cotta pots in which you will insert compost or soil. Then, choose a segment from a young branch of at least 10 cm in length and which has 3 to 6 nodes.  Make the cut just below one of the nodes and clip the leaves, leaving only 2 or 3 on top to prevent excessive perspiration. Plant the stem quickly to avoid drying out and for promoting the growth of new roots. Cuttings will be placed on the edges of pots that store and retain heat well, which facilitates the rooting of the plant. Place the pots in a sunny but damp area that is protected from the wind. One must then wait 3-4 weeks for the new buds to appear. You can use auxin, a plant hormone that stimulates the rhizogenesis, to guarantee the emergence of good shoots.  Finally, when the plant begins to grow, replant it in a large garden, on the banks of a river or pond, in cool and moist soil that is well exposed to sunlight.

How to maintain a weeping willow?

From an early age, the weeping willow should be watered regularly and covered in mulch. To give it an attractive appearance, trim it by removing diseased, dead or entangled branches. In fall, collect the fallen leaves and burn them if your shrub has been attacked by pests or parasites. Very often, the weeping willow is a haven for caterpillars. To get rid of them, one must first determine the type of species to be dealt with.  If you do not use insecticides, the market offers a wide range of anti-caterpillar products you can resort to. Other diseases such as gall, sooty mould or viruses cause the weakening of the tree by absorbing its sap.  In such cases, it is necessary to hire a professional who can advise you on the appropriate treatment to be carried out.

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Published in Large trees by Alexander on 04 Jul 2011