When do weeping willows start to weep?

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

I got a weeping willow 4 years ago from the National Arbor Day Foundation. It has yet to weep. I wrote them about it and they replied that salix babylonica does not have an actual weeping habit -- it just droops when the branches get long enough.

Personally, I think that is BS. I've seen far smaller WWs than mine that are weeping like a 13 year old who didn't make cheerleader. Any input? I'm not about to try to uproot this one; I just want to know if I should keep telling people it's a weeping willow! I think they DID send me "a willow." It has been extremely dry here for the last 2 years, if that would make any difference.


Thumbnail by brigidlily
Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Arbor Day quite often sends out mislabeled plants. Once your tree leafs out in the spring it might be easier for someone to tell you what you have.

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Definitely not a Weeping Willow! Tell them they are sending out Stercus taurinum.


Altus, OK(Zone 7a)

"weeping like a 13 year old who didn't make cheerleader"


Yep, mine is only a few years old and it is weeping away. I think I'll have to give it a haircut so my mower doesn't grab the branches/twigs.


Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Resin, I told them I thought this was not a weeping willow. That's when they told me WWs do not have a weeping habit. Thanks for the probable ID.

Needless to say, I'm not ordering from NADF anymore. I had room for one tree in my front yard. Oh, well.

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Okay, looked up stercus taurinum! Should have snapped to that more quickly! LOL.

(Zone 7a)

Resin, that's good. Heh heh heh

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

well if you only have room for one tree and the weeping willow is what you wanted, yank it out now. It's not that big, why put up with it if it isn't what you wanted?
Weeping willows grow fast and you can get pretty good sized ones to start with. Just plant one now before spending any more time on something you aren't particularly happy with.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I learned something new today, thanks Resin.

these constant wrong trees, from a TREE foundaton for cryinoutloud...

Danville, IN

If you see a weeping willow anywhere in your area, just ask for a twig to root. If you cut off a couple of twigs about a foot long, just stick them in the ground and keep moist. They will root in a few weeks, and grow like weeds! You'll have a great tree that you know is the right one in no time at all.

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Part of me still wants that weeping willow, but when I sit in the front yard and watch these branches dance the way they do, it really is enchanting.

What is more disappointing is, as sallyg pointed out, that NADF would send out the wrong tree. What just has me in an uproar is that they would have the gall to tell me WWs don't have a weeping habit. HUH????????

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Ironic...so ironic

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Of course they have those texts for sale - they certainly are not in use at that institution.

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

My BIL grew this one from a cutting I gave him. It's about 7 year old. If you'd like a cutting I can mail you one if you send a couple stamps. I could fit a 4 - 6 inch narrowish twig in an envelope and mail it with only 2 or 3 stamps if you want a nice WW brig. Here is that one last Fall, it's the yellow one in the corner. See the neighbor's WW it isn't even yellow! They grow like gangbusters! My BILand Sister never pruned their's, so theirs is a big bush, but not bad, prolly weak tho.
Just an idea, you might not be around. Anybody else want one?

Thumbnail by shortleaf
suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

Here it is about 3 years after it started from a cutting. This one appears to be weeping pretty good, and its not old.

Thumbnail by shortleaf
Bloomington, IN(Zone 6a)

Perhaps Arbor Day should send that little book along with every order.

Sorry to hear about your wrong order, Birgidilly. I've had my trials with Arbor Day, too, and it's so disheartening to get something you don't want and then not even be able to tell for a few years!! The thing is, Arbor Day has been like this for YEARS. You would think that after a year or two of complaints, they would straighten their act out.

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Well, they just shouldn't have people who don't know trees writing responses about trees! I mean, of all the entities you figure would give responsible advice, NADF is certainly up there!

Thanks for the offer, shortleaf! But there is a WW right around the corner from me and I could easily snag a cutting. The unfortunate thing is, with this willow in the middle of the yard, I no longer have room for one. GGGGGrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

(Zone 7a)

Can you get rid of it and get a REAL weeping willow?

suburban K.C., MO(Zone 6a)

You're welcome, hope it works out for you, brig, WW cuttings are easy any time of year, altho, prolly easier in the warm months because you'll see leaves come out.
I've been lucky with ArborDay. I've got several seedlings from them, a couple are getting quite large now.
Here is a Crabapple from ArborDay, from me, that they planted there in 02' as a tiny seedling. Now it has the problem that it might be hanging it's crabapples over the driveway.
I think some people can't grasp that little seedlings don't stay little. That WW in the above photo used to be 2 feet from the fence until I told my BIL that was way too close.
He dug it up and planted it 8 feet from the fence which is a little better!

Thumbnail by shortleaf
Saint Cloud, MN

This is an old thread, but if anyone comes across it, I figured I'd share my experience. I found this thread after buying a willow at Menards quite a while back. After about 3 years the tree still did not droop and googling 'how long before a willow tree begins to weep' I found this page. I figured I had also gotten a different species of Willow. Fast forward to 2021 and the tree is about 20 ft tall and is weeping nicely. This is the first summer I have noticed it weeping.

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