I'd like to plant a weeping willow tree in my front
yard for shade. I live in central Texas, zone 8.
Is now a bad time to plant a weeping willow? Some of
the websites I've visited won't ship until November,
but I'd really like to plant as soon as possible.
I'm just concerned about the plant's health if I
Can someone please advise?
Thanks in advance,
8^)~~~~~~ Sue (remove x to email)
I would wait until fall, at least until further heat waves are unlikely.
If you plant in the early fall, the soil should still be warm enough
(not hot) to encourage root growth while the air has cooled enough to
reduce the demand by foliage for moisture.
However, if your winters are as severe as indicated by the US National
Arboretum -- 10F to 20F -- you might want to wait until no more freezing
weather is expected. Prepare the planting hole in the fall, but plant
in the late winter or early spring. That's because planting the tree
will encourage new growth that will be extra sensitive to frost damage.
For the US National Arboretum map of Texas, see
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
Find a local nursery (you may have to go to more than one) who knows botany.
They can tell you in a second. We have a MONSTER, and just lost a smaller
one. Prune it early so that it grows up rather than becoming a dense bush.
We have ours pruned out, its center hollowed out, and it is a popular "fort"
for our grandkids, with its pruned entrance, blocked seating underneath, and
absolute shade in a hot environment.
Oh, take me back to my childhood with just such a monster willow. Large,
long branches trailing away up in the air. Some you could climb quite a
ways, some you were afraid of. I think it thrived on the septic field...
I don't advise a weeping willow for a shade tree in a typical front
yard, especially not in central Tx. Weeping willow trees don't do
well in poor soil in a dry climate, however in a relatively wet spot,
stream/lake side, they will thrive, but so will the mosquitos, you
will not be enjoying the shade of a weeping willow tree. A well
maintained weeping willow tree in a proper setting while still young
makes a nice specimen tree but they do not make for a shade tree that
one can enjoy. Planted in a dry location they do not thrive and
become a very straggly/messy nuisance. Even under the best of
conditions weeping willow trees are weak wooded and lose entire limbs
as they age, they also don't fare well in windy locations. Weeping
willows are great wetlands trees but I were you I'd reconsider your
choice of a shade tree.
Weeping willows are good in areas where you have moist soil, as they
are stream and bog trees. Ours was over a seep. They are
shallow-rooted and over time, the roots will grow up through the soil,
forming ridges that make it hard to mow under. If your front yard is
dry, I would not recommend a willow - my neighbor planted one in the
middle of his back yard and it did not last 4 years because the soil,
while fine for the maples and oaks, was too dry for the willow.
Also, it's usually recommended that you plant in the fall - that way
the plant has the winter to grow roots and be ready for the hot
willows make very bad yard trees
(they drop a lot of material any time
it storms or blows) they are better
planted along an edge (by a river or
deep ditch so they can get plenty of
moisture) where the dropping aren't
so much of a problem.
i sure wouldn't put one in now, it is
too hot. the stress of transplanting
alone is tough enough, add the demands
that heat places upon a tree and you'll
likely kill it. there a good reason
those places don't ship now -- they'd
have too many customers complaining to
them about dead and diseased trees.
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