How to Grow a Weeping Willow From a Stem

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Grow a weeping willow from a stem cutting.
Grow a weeping willow from a stem cutting. (Image: weeping willow image by Edsweb from Fotolia.com)

A member of the Salicaceae family, the weeping willow is a fast growing tree that is capable of growing up to 10 feet every year. This deciduous tree produces green leaves that measure 4 to 8-inches in length, which extend from branches that swoop dramatically downward. Weeping willows trees grow to mature heights between 45 and 70-feet with a matching spread. A stem cutting taken from a mature weeping willow tree yields a clone of the parent tree that will eventually grow to the same size and stature when planted in prepared soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Pitchfork
  • Soil testing kit
  • Lime or peat moss
  • Pruning shears
  • Mulch
  • Hammer
  • Bamboo stake
  • Elastic cord
  • Rabbit guard fencing
  • 3-gallon bucket

Prepare the soil for planting the weeping willow stem prior to cutting. Break up the soil 18 inches wide and 18 inches deep using a pitchfork.

Test the soil pH using a testing kit purchased from a garden center. Weeping willows prefer planting in soil with a pH between 5.0 and 6.0.

Amend the soil with lime if the pH is below 5.0 or add peat moss to the soil if the soil pH is above 6.0. Mix the required amendment in with the soil according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Cut the stem from a mature weeping willow tree. Use a sharp pair of pruning shears to cut the stem from the tree on a 45-degree angle. Choose a stem that is at least 18 inches long with at least three to four buds.

Push the cut end of the stem into the amended soil, approximately 6-inches. Pack the soil around the weeping willow stem to secure it.

Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch around the weeping willow stem to prevent weed growth and improve drainage. Bark chips or straw work well as mulch.

Hammer a bamboo stake into the soil behind the cutting. Secure the stem to the bamboo stake using a piece of elastic cord. Wrap a section of rabbit guard fencing around the weeping willow stem to keep it safe from hungry wildlife.

Water the weeping willow stem cutting once a week in lieu of rain. Fill a 3-gallon bucket with water and pour it over the soil around the stem cutting. Maintain moist soil at a depth of 1-inch at all times.

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