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Weeping WillowSalix babylonica

  • Weeping Willow - Salix babylonica
  • Weeping Willow - Salix babylonica
  • Weeping Willow - Salix babylonica
  • Weeping Willow - Salix babylonica

This graceful giant is known for its open crown of wispy, ground-sweeping branches and long, slender leaves. Often seen as one of the first indications of spring, the weeping willow’s yellow twigs and green foliage appear early in the season—sometimes as early as February.

The tree is easy to grow and quick to take root, reaching heights between 30' and 40' and nearly the same in width. It lends itself well to planting singly or in small groves near the edge of ponds, lakes and rivers.

Hardiness Zones

The weeping willow can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 6–8. View Map

Tree Type

This is a shade tree, featuring a spreading canopy capable of blocking sunlight.

Mature Size

The weeping willow grows to a height of 30–40' and a spread of around 35' at maturity.

Growth Speed Fast Growth Rate

This tree grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The weeping willow grows well in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. It grows well near water but has some drought tolerance.


This tree:
  • Thrives in a wide range of soil and moisture conditions.
  • Grows especially well near water.
  • Produces yellow flowers borne on short catkins in April and May.
  • Features long, narrow leaves with a light green color and a finely toothed margin that appear early in the spring.
  • Yields a brown fruit ¼" in diameter, leaving no litter to speak of.
  • Grows in a rounded shape.

Wildlife Value

This tree provides browse food for rabbits, beavers, and big game such as deer. It also provides nesting sites for numerous small birds and mammals.


The weeping willow is dramatic both in appearance and history. Few trees add as much grace to the landscape. Early in the history of interstate commerce, cuttings from this popular species were carried along the trade routes from China. Its occurrence along the Euphrates River eventually fooled the famous botanist, Linnaeus, into thinking this was the willow of biblical mention, so he gave it the scientific name of babylonica. Later, it was the shade of a weeping willow that helped comfort Napoleon during his exile on the Island of St. Helena. After Napoleon was buried under his favorite tree, cuttings from it became a valued prize among his admirers worldwide.