Willow Tree Care, Pruning & Disease Prevention

Weeping Willow Tree The majestic, graceful willow tree is often found by a pond, stream or other body of water. While it prefers moist soil, weeping willows can do well in drier areas as long as watered regularly. Willow trees require a lot of room due to their size which includes a massive root system and sweeping round crown. This deciduous tree has green narrow leaves and yellow flowers that bloom during April and May. Willow trees are fast growing trees that add drama and shade to large landscapes.

When is the Best Time to Plant a Willow Tree?

  • The best time to plant a willow tree is from the end of January to the middle of March. They grow best in full sun.

How Large Do Willow Trees Grow?

  • Willow trees tend to grow 34-45 feet high and can grow equally as wide a Crown Spread. Willow Trees can also grow around 8 to 10 feet per year

If you’d like to establish willow trees in your landscape, we can connect you with a pre-vetted landscape expert that will help you select, purchase and plant new willow trees. For a complimentary consultation with a certified arborist to discuss what would work best in your landscape contact the location nearest you.

Willow Tree Care

Weeping Willow Branches Willow trees are low maintenance however tree pruning is important to maintain tree health and desired shape. Applying willow tree fertilizer as needed is also important.

Newly planted trees benefit from ArborKelp®, SavATree’s exclusive seaweed biostimulant which aids in tree establishment, promotes root growth and heightens stress tolerance.

Mature and established willow trees benefit from fertilizer feedings of organic-based macro and micronutrients for the nutrition necessary to sustain their health.

Willow Tree Pruning

Willow Tree Pruning A young willow tree should be pruned to develop a strong central leader. Willow tree pruning helps promote healthy growth and balance the wood of this soft wood tree. Once the willow tree matures its drooping fronds can touch the ground and can be pruned to allow a clearing under the tree if desired. Dead or broken branches are removed during tree pruning. Any suckers, growing from the soil floor to the trunk, stress the tree and need to be removed.

Your SavATree certified arborist is equipped with the latest techniques and state-of-the-art equipment to keep your willow trees healthy, beautiful and safe. Contact us today for information on tree pruning or any of our other willow tree care services.

Willow Tree Diseases, Pests & Signs of Tree Problems

The most common diseases & pests affecting Willow Trees include:

Willow Tree Disease

  • Gypsy Moth – Gypsy moth caterpillars can be found feeding on willow trees from late May until early July. They can defoliate the willow tree, making it weak and susceptible to other pests and diseases. Learn more about the gypsy moth.
  • Crown Gall – Willow trees are at risk for crown gall, a bacterium that causes galls to form on the roots and stems. Numerous galls can cause stunting, discoloration and dieback. Crown gall can also make the tree susceptible to secondary tree diseases that enter decaying galls.
  • Willow Scab – This fungus can attack and kill young willow tree leaves and branches within a very short time. Signs of willow scab include olive green spore masses along the veins on the underside of leaves. Willow scab often occurs with black canker.
  • Black Canker – Willow trees that are infected with willow scab will often also have black canker. Black canker causes dark brown spots on the tree’s leaves. Black bordered gray-white lesions appear on the stems and twigs. When trees are infected with both willow scab and black canker, they are said to have willow blight, which can cause defoliation, significant dieback and tree death.
  • Bagworm – Bagworm is a type of moth whose caterpillars feed voraciously on willow tree leaves and twigs. Signs of bagworm include defoliation and characteristic 2 inch long bags of tough silk that hang like an ornaments from the willow tree’s branches. A bagworm infestation can cause severe defoliation which can retard the growth of the tree and make the tree vulnerable to secondary pests.
  • Willow Leaf Beetle – Willow leaf beetle larvae and adults feed on the willow tree leaves often to the point of skeletonization. Signs of a willow leaf beetle infestation include defoliation, brown crumbling leaves and metallic, greenish-blue oval beetles, less than 1/5 inches long, feeding in clusters from late May throughout the growing season. In late spring, black larvae can be spotted on the willow tree leaves.

Don’t let these diseases or pests destroy your precious willow trees. If you suspect a problem with your willow trees, call a SavATree certified arborist right away for an evaluation and treatment options. Our Willow tree care experts can help protect your trees and keep your landscape beautiful.

Diseased photo: Willow Scab 4213006 from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Archive, Minnesota Department of Natural

Other Common Tree Varieties in the US