Rate of Willow Root Growth?

Q: I would like to plant some Weeping Willows but would like to know how fast the roots grow and if I have to be concerned about proximity to a septic bed? Also, how far apart would be a good distance to plant and how many feet per year do they grow?

Thanks for any info.

A: Ed,

Weeping Willows (roots and all) can grow extremely fast if given the proper nutrients and conditions for growth. They can grow up to several feet per year and will develop a spread equal to their height in many instances. They need to be spaced at least 40 ft apart. Their roots are highly invasive and will most definitely affect nearby water and sewer lines. The roots can exceed the growth of the expanse of the tree's branches by 3 to 4 times, so even planted a good distance away the roots are likely to eventually head toward your septic bed and clog it, unless you have a giant lot.

Many arborists don't recommend the Willow for residential lots due to its large, lateral size, messy habit of constantly dropping small branches and its invasive roots. If you want a "weeping" yard tree, cherry and birch species might be better options. Willows are better planted in their proper habitat along streams and ponds.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 263 Posts
July 17, 20040 found this helpful

Hello Ed, Yes, you don't want to plant your weeping willows anywhere near your septic. I'm not sure on how fast they grow, but I do know they'll take over your septic. They need lots of water, also.

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August 18, 20040 found this helpful

Hi Ed,

Roots of a weeping willow does not take long to form. My husband and I get limbs off of his parents. We have planted about 6 now. You really don't even have to put them in water to start. all you have to do is plant them. Now when you first plant them, they will look like they have died. Give it a week or two and look, especially close to the ground and you will see the new limbs starting.


Do not plant near septic or water lines. They will grow into the pipes. Always remember the roots will grow toward water.

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By Kraig B (Guest Post)
September 13, 20040 found this helpful

Is it possible to plant a weeping willow near a septic system as long as adequate water is supplied at the trees location and not encounter too many problems?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Gee (Guest Post)
February 17, 20060 found this helpful

I have a young 5 ft weeping willow I planted 20 ft. from a sewer hole in my backyard of a new house. Should I move it or are new sewer lines stronger?

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By keyon (Guest Post)
June 14, 20060 found this helpful

im doing this project for school and i need to know how fast does roots grow in plants?)

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