Should I plant a weeping willow tree?

The mysterious nature of weeping willows has inspired poetry, art and song for centuries. Its graceful, flowing branches help to create a calmer environment, one that instantly puts you at ease. While the world is home to thousands of types of trees, with each one offering its own unique charm, the weeping willow’s mesmerizing beauty stands out in a way that captures attention — no matter what the competition.  

Of course, weeping willows do have their disadvantages, too. If you’re considering bringing the awe-inspiring allure of the weeping willow to your backyard, try to become aware of all the tree’s qualities so you’ll know exactly what you’re in store for. Here are five characteristics of the weeping willow everyone should know before ever planting one.

They have an invasive root system

Weeping willows love water, and their roots will grow more quickly when moisture is nearby. When planting, be sure to distance the tree from your septic system or any underground pipes to prevent the roots from causing damage. 

Weeping willows prefer the sun

This isn’t necessarily a disadvantage, but it’s an important characteristic to know. Plant the willow tree in either full sun or partial shade to get the best growing results.  

These trees have a short life span

The beauty of weeping willows, unfortunately, is short lived. Most willow trees do not live past 50 years. 

You’ll have to pick up twigs frequently

The willow tree’s wispy branches break easily, which makes them messier than most other trees. However, picking up branches is a small price to pay when you consider the aesthetic benefits of a weeping willow. 

They are prone to disease and insect problems 

You’ll want to keep an eye out for gypsy moths and a disease called black canker. If you spot symptoms early, you’ll be able to prevent infection from causing extensive damage. 

Whenever planting a new tree, it’s a good idea to understand the range of good and bad outcomes that are possible before you begin. Keep these characteristics in mind when deciding whether a weeping willow is the best option for your backyard. 

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