View Full Version : weeping pussy willow tree

03-20-2005, 12:37 PM
I received a weeping pussy willow tree about 6 ft tall in a large pot. Questions are:
1. Pruning-there are many branches at the base-I think i shoud cut them off but not sure.
2. How tall can it get?
3. Is it really a tree or a shrub. I want it to be a tree. It was very expensive.
4. I have read that the roots are invasive. I would like to plant about 3 feet from a concrete patio.
5. Does it need alot of water?
6. Should I plant in now? Zone 7

03-22-2005, 04:47 PM
Weeping Pussy Willows are members of the willow family (Salix) and this means that they are fast growing, love water, and have invasive root systems so you don't want to plant it around septic systems or broken sewer pipes. If it's potted and came from a greenhouse then you'll want to plant it outdoors as soon as the frost date has passed.

04-17-2005, 06:14 PM
I have just discovered this tree too...
I want to put one near the end of my small city lot - close to the sidewalk and driveway edge.
My Mother is Freaking OUT because she's heard how invasive the roots are...
is there any thing that can be done to cub thier growth? How bad are they, really??
I read something about the roots spreading out as much as the height of the tree - is this true??

Quirky Quercus
04-17-2005, 10:07 PM
In some cases roots spread out many times the height of the tree. I don't know that freaking out is warranted, as it will take some years for it to do that damage and you have plenty of time to relocate it to a better spot. Roots can do damage. Some people think they can cut the roots.

04-18-2005, 04:52 AM
we're in a small urban lot - 40 feet to be exact - so that means that the area I will be planting in is about 15 feet from my house...
too close?

Quirky Quercus
04-18-2005, 08:34 AM
I think so but I don't like to take chances when it comes to planting distances. I've seen roots on a 20' fig tree spread out 45 feet from the tree. And they are surface roots so they are visible.

04-18-2005, 08:13 PM
Thanks for getting back to me...
perhaps I'll just go with the umbrella tree I had originally planned on down there...
Maybe a Red Maple closer to the house......
soo many choice.... :D

05-19-2005, 06:31 PM
Hi Tracy,

I don't know if you have selected a tree for your garden yet, but planting a tree 15' from your house comes with many risks to the house and foundation. Maples are famous for large surface roots over time. If you must plant that close I would recommend a Japanese maple. Tree roots grow beyone the mature crown of the tree.

This site is very handy and has all kinds of helpful info about trees, including root systems, tree litter, mature crown size and mature size.


05-20-2005, 10:43 AM
Look at the eventual size of tree and location of piping systems.

Planting 15 feet from the house means you want a mature crown of 30 feet or so as a maximum diameter. Alternatively, if you are in a one-story house, you could look for a tree that is tall with a rounded or vase-shaped crown so that you can easily take off the lower limbs that would eventually want to go through your house. the tall tree should also be a type that doesn't shed lots of litter or limbs and is strong in ice/wind storms.

Japanese maples are beautiful trees that are very pruneable and fit well into small lots. Other good alternatives include crabapples, ornamental cherries, and dogwoods.

If you live in an old area with leaking water and sewer lines, expect trees such as weeping pussy willow, red maple etc to go in search of that water. They can also go into your basement tile drains.

Most of the surface root problems come from homeowners who believe that their lawns need to be putting greens that are watered frequently. A deep soaking once a week or so will convince both your grass and trees that it is worth the effort to put their roots down deep in search of water instead of at the surface. Once the grass has established deep roots, it is usually unnecessary to water it more than once a week to keep it looking good.