A weeping willow tree is a true thing of beauty, especially when its long tendrils blow in the breeze. If you have one of these lovely trees on your property, then it's important that you know how to care for it properly, so it stays looking beautiful for many years to come.
Cleaning Up Debris
Willow trees leave a lot of litter behind, especially in the fall. Not only do they shed leaves, but a lot of little twigs fall off of their tendrils. It's important that you clean these up, rather than leaving them to rot on the ground. They can harbor fungal spores and insects that may infect your tree if left behind.
Having your willow tree pruned regularly will help decrease the amount of litter that it creates since older and dead branches will be removed with pruning. Make sure you have the tree pruned in the early spring before the buds emerge for best results. It's generally best to have willows pruned by a professional since their unique tendrils make it hard to judge which branches are older and which are newer. If you do attempt to prune the tree yourself, ensure that you're removing only the darker green and brown branches, not the younger ones that are still a brighter green color.
Water and Fertilizer
As established willow tree typically has deep roots, so even during dry periods, it should be able to get enough water to survive. If your tree is on a stream or pond bank (as many are) make sure you keep that water source clean. Do not dump toxic chemicals of any kind into it, as they will work their way into the tree, causing damage. There's really no need to fertilize most established trees. However, you can ensure that the tree has an ongoing supply of nutrients by applying wood mulch around its base in a broad circle. Over time, the mulch will break down, leeching organic matter back into the soil.
Tent caterpillars and aphids love taking up residence on willow trees, and they can weaken the tree, making it more susceptible to serious infections. If you spot cocoons on your tree, or if little bugs seem to be jumping around and eating its leaves, having the tree sprayed with insecticides is a good idea.
By following the tips above, you can ensure your weeping willow stays happy for years. Its branches may weep, but inside, it will be smiling. One company that might be able to meet your needs if you need help with your willow tree is Mead Tree & Turf Care Inc.