Willow: Description Of The Tree, Planting And Care, Growing From Cuttings

The willow (willow tree) has long symbolized the beginning of spring. Most philosophers and authors in their works describe its luxurious branches hanging down to a body of water. To this day, the tree has not lost its importance and great popularity among gardeners. However, before you decide to decorate your plot with such a spectacular plant, you should definitely study its features as well as the rules of care.

Botanical description

Willow: description of the tree, planting and care, growing from cuttings

The willow tree (Salix) is part of the Willow family.

The genus Willow, however, belongs to the dicotyledon class. This genus is represented by both low and tall trees and also by shrubs. Willow leaves and branches can hang down gracefully as well as sticking out in different directions. The classic willow will be described in detail below.

The average height of such a tree is about 15 meters, with its trunk reaching about 30 cm across.

Wild specimens can be found up to 40 m high, but cultivated trees are usually much smaller. Its average lifespan is about 50 years.

The curly, lush foliage is usually a dark green shade. However, the branches of some specimens are decorated with sparse leaves of a pale gray color. This directly depends on the growing conditions of the plant and its age.

The leaf plates are characterized by reticulate veining.

The elastic twigs are narrow and slender, but despite this, they are quite fragile. The buds possess a pale red color. The flowering of such a tree is observed in the early spring, usually before the appearance of leaves.

Flowers are small and difficult to see with the naked eye.

When the tree blossoms, the flowers are replaced by fruits, which are small boxes with seeds. The seeds are very small and can be easily carried long distances by the wind.

The root system of such a plant can be very different, this depends directly on the variety or species. For example, the root system of the goat willow is underdeveloped and when the tree is 20 to 30 years old, it ceases to cope with its task. At the same time, the root system of the weeping willow is strong and well developed.

Its active growth stops only when it finds a source of water.


Willow: description of the tree, planting and care, growing from cuttings

Virtually all species of this tree are found in wet or damp places. Willow is most widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere. On the territory of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine such a plant in the wild can be found almost everywhere.

Willow also grows perfectly well in the middle latitudes.

Often entire families can be found near bodies of water or rivers.

Willow - species and varieties

Willow species and varieties

There are many species and varieties, and they may differ greatly from each other in appearance. Before deciding which willow to decorate your plot, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the most common varieties.

The bush willow or Babylonica (Salix babylonica)

Willow: description of the tree, planting and care, growing from cuttings

This species is characteristic of the Willow family. It is also one of the most common species.

This fast-growing tree is highly ornamental. Such a plant takes root with ease, it is not demanding to the composition of the soil and is able to grow and develop normally even in unfavorable conditions. Most often this type of plant is planted near a body of water but it is also used for lawn decoration.

Crawling willow (Salix repens)

Willow: description of the tree, planting and care, growing from cuttings

This small shrub grows to a height of approximately 100 centimeters. In the wild, this tree prefers to grow on poor soil, usually sandy soil.

The plant has no special requirements for growing conditions and soil.

Brittle Willow (Salix fragilis)

Willow: description of the tree, planting and care, growing from cuttings

This plant has a curved shape, with a lush crown of green. Such a tree is about 15m long. Its flowering does not start until May. The main advantages of this species are quick rooting and growth.

Iva in the garden. The 5 best species of DECORATIVE willow: Goat, Hakuro - Nishiki, Nana willow, Twisted willow, Weeping willow.

Raising willow

Willow: description of the tree, planting and care, growing from cuttings

The 2 methods most commonly used for home willow propagation, namely by cuttings and seeds. Among gardeners, the seed method of propagation is used relatively infrequently. However, in nature, this tree is often propagated by seeds.

The reason is that seeds quickly lose their germination. After full maturation, a seed is able to give a sprout only for 7 days. So it is very difficult to find good quality seeds for sowing.

Willow, however, is easily propagated by cuttings. Cuttings should be taken in spring or autumn, ideally in March or November.

A well-formed shoot should be at least two years old. The optimal length of the cuttings is 25 centimeters.

Rooting cuttings should be planted in a flower pot or in a greenhouse. Under favorable conditions, the roots will grow quickly and the cuttings will begin to grow. After 1 year, when the young willow gets stronger and grows taller, plant it in the open ground.

Planting the tree is carried out in early spring, after the snow cover has descended.

If you wish, you can buy a ready-made seedling of willow, which will only be planted immediately in the open ground. This will avoid unwanted worries.

Putting in the open ground

Willow: description of the tree, planting and care, growing from cuttings

When choosing a site for planting willow, the first thing to pay attention to is the quality of the soil. Almost all species and varieties of willow prefer moist soil.

If you doubt that the soil on your plot is suitable for such a tree, then it is recommended to add compost or humus.

Prepare a small planting hole in the selected plot, the size of which should correspond to the size of the root system. Place the sapling in the hole and cover it with soil, with fertilizer if necessary. The planted tree needs plenty of watering. It is characterized by rapid growth.

If the need arises, you can transplant the willow. However, if its root system is weak, you should not do this.

Care for willow

Willow: description of the tree, planting and care, growing from cuttings

The care you need to give your willow growing outdoors depends directly on its species and cultivar. However, you usually only need to water the plant properly and give it timely pruning and nutrients.


For the tree to grow and develop quickly, the soil in the growing bed needs to be slightly moist all the time.

So watering willow trees in particular, especially during the hot, dry summer months. Experienced gardeners advise to pour a few buckets of water under a tree at a time or you can put a watering hose into the root zone for a while.

In regions with frosty winters, there is usually enough moisture for the plant during the cold season. And in regions with mild winters during droughts, watering is done even at this time of year.


This plant does not need mandatory feedings.

They are done as desired. If the growth of the tree stops and the foliage fades quickly, then it is recommended to apply fertilizer to the soil. But if the willow grows normally and develops well, it is advisable not to fertilize at all.


Willow: description of the tree, planting and care, growing from cuttings

Trimming is only possible in a small number of willow varieties and only during the first years of growth. Once the tree is about 15 meters high it will be difficult to trim it.

It is advisable to trim the plant in the spring or early autumn before the cold weather sets in. Pruning is well tolerated by such a tree.

Willow. Planting, agrotechnics, storage. Master class by Oksana Sakhnovskaya

Diseases and pests

Willow: description of the tree, planting and care, growing from cuttings

Like many other crops, willow can be affected by disease or pests can settle on it.

The most common diseases the plant suffers from are:

  1. Willow scab. This fungal disease damages the leaf plates. In a scab-affected plant, the foliage and young shoots turn black.
  2. Leaf spotting. The mottling can be brown, black, and brown.

    In a diseased tree, spots of a characteristic hue form on the surface of the leaves.

  3. Mildew. This disease is quite common in many garden crops, including willow. The diseased tree develops a white-colored coating on the surface of the shoots and leaves. This is also a fungal disease, the reception of the most frequent plant from it suffers in the summertime.

    It is recommended to start treatment as early as possible, otherwise it will be very difficult to save the tree.

  4. Bark necrosis. This disease is very dangerous for willow. It most often affects young trees. According to statistics, only 5 out of 100 trees affected by bark necrosis can be saved, the rest die.

    However, such a disease affects only a weakened or diseased tree, so it is so important to pay special attention to plant health from the very first days of growth.

  5. Crown Gall. It is the willow's defensive response to fungal disease and is a very large outgrowth that forms on the surface of the bark. It can be compared to a pustule. If only a few of these growths form, you can get rid of them quickly.

    Take care, however, that the trunk of the willow is by no means completely engulfed by such growths.

  6. White heart-shaped trunk rot. Since the focus of this disease is in the middle of the trunk, it cannot be diagnosed in a timely manner. You can tell that the plant is diseased by the rotted areas of the hollow trunk. However, they become visible only when the willow has already begun to die.

    There is no way to save the diseased plant.

Willow leaf beetles, spider mites, willow common aphids and other pests can settle on such a tree.

Willow: description of the tree, planting and care, growing from cuttings

How to protect willow from pests and diseases? Here it is important to detect and eliminate the danger in time. This is why the following measures are recommended on a regular basis:

  1. Systematic inspection of the tree to detect rodents and pests. Treat with an appropriate pesticide as needed.

  2. See for mold or yellowed foliage. Remove diseased leaves from willow as soon as possible and try to find the cause of this trouble.
  3. Specialists recommend twice a year to treat such a tree with a solution of Bordeaux mixture (3%) or use copper sulfate for this purpose. Such treatments are an excellent prevention of various diseases.

Significance and use

Willow: description of the tree, planting and care, growing from cuttings

From ancient times willow has been of great importance in human life, with its use in many different spheres of life.

In ancient times, this plant was a symbol of longevity and health. However, a small portion of peoples considered willow a symbol of tears and sorrow.

Applications of willow:

  1. In alternative medicine. The plant is used to make tea, which is used for headaches, fevers and rheumatism. This drink is also considered useful for gastrointestinal problems.

  2. The twigs of this tree are used to create wicker patterns, baskets and other decorative items.
  3. The wood can be used as a fuel or building material.
  4. Willows help strengthen river banks, protect slopes from rockslides and so on.
  5. Few gardeners believe that if this tree is planted in depleted soil, more soil-demanding crops will grow beautifully next to it after a while.

Use in landscape design

Willow: description of the tree, planting and care, growing from cuttings

Dwarf and ornamental willow species as well as tall willow species are widely used in landscape design.

Big willows are usually grown near rivers or bodies of water. In this case they look the most effective and mysterious. Small bushes are used for solitary planting or to create large compositions. Willows are very popular among gardeners and landscapers due to their undemanding growing conditions.

How to grow willow? Удачные заметки


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