Germination of Weeping Willow Tree Seeds

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Weeping willows (Salix babylonica) are at their best when planted on river banks and by the sides of lake and ponds. These moisture-loving, low-maintenance trees grow quickly once established in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. Weeping willow tree seeds are also easy to germinate as long as you provide the right conditions.

When to Sow

  • Weeping willow seeds mature on the tree once the flowers have dropped in late spring. Weeping willow seeds are only viable for a short period and must be planted as soon as possible after they fall from the tree. Plant the seeds in late spring.

Soil

  • Weeping willow seeds will germinate and grow in a variety of potting soils, but will do best in heavy, rich, moist potting soil. A combination of compost, peat moss and well-rotted manure works well, but weeping willows will do well in any rich soil. Although otherwise adaptable, weeping willows will do poorly if planted in chalky or sandy, fast-draining soil. Plant the seeds in pots or trays.

Sun and Water

  • Weeping willow seeds need both an abundance of water and sun to germinate. Place the seed trays or pots in a sunny spot with plenty of direct sun. Monitor the soil and water it well whenever the surface of the feels dry to the touch. In summer, water the soil once a day until it's thoroughly moist. The willows will need the same care until they grow into mature, established trees.

Planting Out

  • The saplings can be transplanted into the ground in the fall. Plant them in an open area with lots of room, all-day sun, and far away from building foundations and pipes. Weeping willows have thirsty roots that will strangle surrounding pipes and crack concrete in the search for water. The saplings should be protected with a layer of mulch that is at least 2 inches thick.

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