Weeping Willow Tree
These trees are incredible fast growing (6-8 ft in a year)! Full of grace and wisdom, the weeping willow trees are also great for planting along a riverbank and places that may have flooding. This is because their root systems can absorb a lot of water. If you are using them for landscaping, be sure to plant them 50 feet away from your house since their roots can invade underground pipes and power lines. Moreover these trees originated in northern China and have ever since permeated many people’s cultures, literature, and spirituality.
In fact, the scientific name for it shows an interesting historical fact. Inside the word Salix babylonica, Salix means “willow,” and babylonica comes from Babylon since Carl Linnaeus, who named many living things, thought it was the willow that grew by the rivers of Babylon in the Bible. In actuality, these trees were probably poplars.
- Uses: The weeping willow tree has many uses including environmental, aesthetic, and medicinal. Firstly it keeps the soil from eroding, and is the perfect tree to plant in flood zones since it can absorb a lot of water. Secondly, it has a beautiful and graceful shape. Additionally, the bark can help with fever, inflammation, and pain. Moreover people have used the dyes from willow trees to tan leather.
- Health Benefits: The bark of the tree, which is a lot like aspirin, is a pain reliever. In fact people have used it for joint pain, menstrual cramps, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, gout, and a disease of the spine called ankylosing spondylitis.
- Size/Shape: At maturity the tree reaches 30–40′ and has a spread of around 35′.
- Color: The leaves of this tree are a beautiful light green on the top and a grayish-green beneath.
- Hardiness Zones: 4-9
- Pests and Diseases
- Some of the pests and diseases include the willow and poplar borer, armored scale and soft scale.
- For more information check out this article on pests and diseases of weeping willows.
- Bloom Period: This tree blooms in April and May and produces yellow flowers which actually resemble a caterpillar.
- Pollination: The willow tree’s catkins or flowers can be pollinated by the wind.
- Cultivation: With a full/partial sun and in soil that is most, rich, and well-drained, this tree can grow 24″ per year. However it does have some drought tolerance and can survive in a wide range of soil and moisture conditions.
- Wildlife Value: The weeping willow is a great treasure for wildlife. Not only does it shelter and provide places for nesting for birds and mammals, but it also provides browse food for rabbits, beavers, and deer.
Check out our guides page for information on how to take care of trees.