Willow leaf pattern saw

Prairie Cascade Weeping Willow

Prairie Cascade Weeping Willow

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 45 feet

Spread: 40 feet


Hardiness Zone: 3a

Other Names: Weeping Willow


A beautiful and hardy specimen tree featuring arching golden branches that weep with age, particularly showy in winter; needs plenty of open space to grow; tends to shed branchlets, root system can be aggressive, do not plant too close to homes

Ornamental Features

Prairie Cascade Weeping Willow has forest green foliage throughout the season. The glossy narrow leaves turn yellow in fall. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant. The furrowed brown bark and yellow branches are extremely showy and add significant winter interest.

Landscape Attributes

Prairie Cascade Weeping Willow is a dense deciduous tree with a rounded form and gracefully weeping branches. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This is a high maintenance tree that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Messy
  • Invasive

Prairie Cascade Weeping Willow is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade

Planting & Growing

Prairie Cascade Weeping Willow will grow to be about 45 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 40 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.

Gertens Sizes and Prices

#15 container – $89.99
* Sizes and availability are subject to change. Please check with the store for specific details.

Dwarf Weeping Willow Tree

Variety is the centerpiece of the joy of a beautiful landscape. You can make your landscape more captivating by using dwarf weeping willow trees to emphasize scale and form of your yard.

A dwarf weeping willow tree or Kilmarnock is a perfect ornamental tree especially for small gardens. The tree grows up to 5-6 feet tall.

Due to its magnificent appearance and size, dwarf weeping willow trees make magnificent focal points in gardens and frame front entrances. They also look great near a pond or water feature because their weeping form is evocative of falling water. The tree derives its attractiveness and beauty from the canopy that tends to drop and sweep gracefully on a neatly balanced set of branches. The overall symmetry of the tree gives it a dramatic look that is bound to win the heart of every garden adventurer.

Planting and managing a weeping dwarf willow tree

Begin by selecting a healthy willow to make your cutting from. The spot on the branch where you make the cutting should be two inches in diameter and up to six feet in length. You will need to use a handsaw for a cutting of this size.

Place the cutting, bottom end down, in a bucket of clear water and leave it until you are ready to put it in the ground.

Select a moist site with adequate drainage for your tree. Avoid selecting sites that are too close to buried pipes or side walks as the weeping willow’s roots grow quickly pushing up against them.

Dig a square hole about 18 inches by 18 inches wide on all four sides.

Fill the hole with up to two inches of water and allow it to drain into the ground.

Place the branch cutting into the center of the hole, with the bottom touching the bottom soil. Fill the soil back into the hole while tapping it down to ensure that the soil securely grips the cutting. Fill the hole until the top of it levels with the ground.

Water your willow every two days until it shows signs of growth. You might want to water it daily if your area is experiencing a dry spell. The appearance of new growth on the cutting is a sure sign that it is developing a healthy root system.

Pruning a weeping dwarf willow tree

Prune and trim weeping willow trees annually to keep them in peak health and form. Prune dead branches at any time of the year as they use up nutrients and water that are better put to use in new growth.

Remove branches that cross each other using pruning shears. Thin the weaker upper branches in order to allow sun light to penetrate inner areas of the tree. Trim the branches that touch the ground at around a third of the tree’s height to create a visually well balanced look.

You can learn more about the dwarf weeping willow, and get more articles and resources about willow trees by visiting Weeping Willow

Author’s Bio:

I am a freelance writer with expertise in a variety of subjects and topics. I run numerous informational websites on subjects which I am knowledgeable about, and enjoy writing articles to help out other people looking for some guides or tips.

4 Tips on How to Prune Your Willow Tree

  • Tip 1: Prune Early
    If you have recently planted your willow, consider pruning it. According to SavaTree, it helps to build and strengthen the tree. Another great time to prune is when you feel it is aesthetically necessary. As previously mentioned, willow trees grow 10 feet a year and will need occasional pruning to look their best.
  • Tip 2: Scan for Dead, Diseased and Damaged
    Start with scanning your tree for the 3 Ds: dead, diseased and damaged areas of the willow tree. Once those areas are spotted, prune them first. Garden Guides even says to remove the branches that are crossing each other.
  • Tip 3: Don’t Be Too Shy
    Remember when pruning these trees that even if you prune too much and feel like your tree is barren, the tree will quickly fill in due to the fast growth rate. Willows can take heavy pruning. In addition, pruning promotes growth and health in the tree.
  • Tip 4: Prune in the Winter
    During the winter, willow trees are in dormancy, which means that are alive but not currently growing. This is the perfect time to prune.

Weeping willows are absolutely magnificent ornamental trees.

Wise Weeping Willow facts

Name – Salix babylonica
Family – Salicaceae
Type – tree

Height – 16 to 85 feet (5 to 25 meters)
Climate – Temperate
Exposure – full sun
Soil – moist
Foliage – deciduous
Flowering – May-June

  • Read also: Willows for gardens both big and small

Caring for a weeping willow, from planting to pruning, will contribute to the harmonious development of the tree.

Planting a weeping willow

Weeping willows are preferably planted in fall to enable root development before the first frost spells, so that growth can resume in the following spring.

  • A willow needs water and it will settle in perfectly near a river, a pond or any body of water.
  • It loves full sun and tolerates part sun.
  • Follow our advice on how to plant a tree.

Feel free to mulch the soil after planting to retain as much moisture as possible in the ground, because weeping willows crave it.

Propagating weeping willow

The best technique to multiply weeping willows is cuttings.

Pruning weeping willow

It is a good idea to prune a weeping willow in February/March, snipping back all its branches.

This will trigger sprouting of new branches, and will give the tree more vigor.

No need to prune too severely, just trim lightly, but yearly.

Any risk of disease will become more and more remote, as your weeping willow grows denser and more vigorous.

A common disease infecting weeping willow

Willow tree leaves turn yellow and brown, with spots, and then fall off. Twigs turn darkish-brown and dry up.

This is due to scab, which is a disease due to a fungus called Marssonina.

This disease often surges after very wet spring seasons, as most fungal diseases do.


  • Pick up fallen leaves and twigs to restrict propagation.
  • Spray the tree with Bordeaux mixture.

Other diseases and parasites that appear on willows

  • Black Spot Disease – Black spots appear along veins on leaves and branches.
  • Rust – Yellow spots on the topside of leaves mirrored by brown blisters on the underside.
  • Canker – Branches and eventually the trunk itself dry up and die.

Learn more about weeping willow

Native to Asia, weeping willows are majestic because of their height, but even more so because of the branches that droop down to the ground and gracefully sway as the wind tears through them.

Its distinctive features are its ground-reaching branch ends and long, vine-like branches. That is where the name of the tree comes from: “weeping” willow. But another equally amazing story also is shared to explain why this tree bears this name: dew and condensation forms when temperatures rise, and then drip down from the leaves above to the ground like tears.

In summer, you’ll feel its shade to be particularly refreshing.

Friend to the wettest areas, it grows perfectly along any body of water and in marshes.

Today, weeping willows are grown on every continent of the planet.

Smart tip about weeping willow

Don’t plant a willow too close to a house, because it grows huge and will block the sun out with thick shade!

You are certainly familiar with its branches that are covered with velvety catkins in spring… With its tight-bound shape, the ‘Kilmarnock’ willow is perfect for small gardens and balconies.

The weeping variety of the goat willow species, bred in England in the XIXth century, Salix caprea ‘Kilmarnock’ (previously called ‘Pendula’) is a tree that shaped like a short parasol that is particularly ornamental. At the end of winter, its naked branches bear silver white pompoms that open up in spring to reveal golden stamen bouquets. In fall, its long leaves turn to beautiful copper hues.

Thanks to its tight-bound shape and its compact size (its trunk can’t grow any higher than 10 feet (3 meters) tall), this little willow is the perfect choice to add a touch of originality in smaller gardens and in beds, too.

‘Kilmarnock’, easy growing

Less vulnerable to diseases than its tall weeping willow cousins, ‘Kilmarnock’ tolerates any type of soil as long as it is very moist. It will be perfectly happy near a body of water, although not having any nearby isn’t a problem.

Set it up preferably in spring, in the sun and sheltered from strong wind. Remember to stake it for the first two years, because its roots don’t run very deep. Pair it with tall grasses to play on textures, and with early bulbs to highlight its spring catkins.

In garden boxes, plant it in a mix of clay soil and soil mix (one part each). Remember to water it regularly.

Caring for ‘Kilmarnock’ willow

It is quite easy. Simply pruning its branches every spring to trigger growth (catkins appear on the previous year’s growth): cut them back to 2 inches (5 cm) from their original branch, and apply pruning paste. In fall and in spring, you may apply a preventive spraying of Bordeaux mixture.

If you’re growing it in garden boxes, add tomato or strawberry plant fertilizer from April to September.

Laure Hamann (Image credits : Jardiland, La Plante du Mois)

Common name: Willow, Osier, Sallow

About Willows

There are about 350 species of willow, all members of the genus Salix. They are native to the northern hemisphere, and usually are found growing on moist soil in cool regions.


The willow has traditionally been associated with both fertility and death. Infertile women in classical Athens were advised to place willow branches in their beds, and most of the Biblical allusions to willow are associated with fertility.

Funeral torches in ancient Rome were made of willow wood. One traditions says that Babylonian soothsayers foretold the premature death of Alexander the Great after seeing a willow bough brush the crown from his head as he crossed the Euphrates. In the middle ages and after, it was a common custom to put a willow branch in each coffin and to plant a willow tree near graves.


Willow trees and shrubs vary widely in size, from the Dwarf Willow (Salix herbacea) which grows about three inches high, to the White Willow (Salix alba) which can be 100 feet tall. These are deciduous plants, and the leaves are typically long and narrow, with small serrations on the edges and a lighter underside. The flowers are catkins, which appear in early spring, often before the leaves open. Male and female catkins do not appear on the same plant. Willows cross-fertilize readily, and hybrids occur naturally as well as in cultivation. The tiny seeds are embedded in white down, so they can be scattered by the wind. The seed remains viable for two to six weeks, depending on the species.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom – Plantae
Division – Magnoliophyta
Class – Magnoliopsida
Order – Malpighiales
Family – Salicaceae
Genus – Salix


Willows grow so easily in moist soil that some species are considered invasive. Australia has an eradication program for several kinds of willows, which are classified as “Weeds of National Significance”.Willows have extensive root systems, and they love moisture. Never plant a willow near your water supply or drainage pipes!

Willows are easily propagated from cuttings. In fact, most species will root from broken branches left on the ground.


The Pussy Willow shrub and the Weeping Willow tree are the most common ornamental willows, but the plant has many other uses.


Willow has been used medicinally for millennia. In North America, native peoples relied on it to relieve fever and pain. The bark of the willow tree is mentioned in Egyptian, Sumerian, and Assyrian texts as a remedy for aches and fever. The Greek physician Hippocrates recommended the bark and leaves of the willow tree to relieve pain and fever in the fifth century B.C.E. Willow tea has been a folk remedy for chills and fever as recently as the twentieth century.

Willow relieves pain because it contains salicin, which was isolated in 1828. In 1897, Felix Hoffmann created a synthetically altered version of salicin, which his employer, Bayer, named aspirin.


Perhaps the most important traditional use of willows was in basket-making. Salmon and eel traps were woven from willow in the Mesolithic period and were still used in the British Isles in the twentieth century. Salix viminalis and Salix purpurea have both been called Basket Willow because their shoots and twigs are exceptionally strong and pliable. Willow is still a favored material for woven baskets. Willow was also used to make wattle fences and daub-and-wattle buildings. Artists now use willows to create living sculptures, employing similar techniques.A cultivar of the White Willow, Salix alba ‘Caerulea’, is commercially grown in England to be made into cricket bats.

Willow has been used in charcoal-making for centuries. Today, the best artist’s charcoal is made from willow wood. Willow has also been used for making paper pulp.

Willow was used for the framework of coracles, one of the earliest kinds of boats. Herodotus, writing in the fifth century B.C.E., described how the Britons “cut frames of willow then stretch hide over them for a cover – the boat is round like a shield.”

new developments

Many of the traditional uses of willow are still valid, but they also have great importance for eco-friendly living. Willows provide a more ecologically sound method of erosion control than concrete. New adaptations of traditional methods suck as spiling, in which willow cuttings are rooted and woven into a living fence on the riverbank, provide highly effective erosion control at a low cost, using a renewable and biodegradable material.

Willow biomass is an environmentally sound source of energy. Because it grows so quickly and can be cropped so frequently, it is a good source of heating fuel. It can be used to produce electricity, especially when co-fired with coal.

Willows can also be used to produce biodegradable plastics and other polymers.

As scientists research the natural functions of wetlands, willows are increasingly being used in biofiltration systems to purify water.

from the Victorian Gardener

Willow (Salix) – Large and medium sized trees, shrubs, and even alpine trailers of northern and temperate countries, mostly hardy and of singular beauty and interest for our gardens and home grounds, in which they are much neglected. Notwithstanding the number of trees in the country, I doubt if there is a more picturesque one than the Babylonian Willow, which is not common in many districts about London, although it is by the river and in the eastern counties. There are many, however, who plant this who do not care for handsome Willows of erect habit, but, as we think, more beauty of color, such as the scarlet-barked or Cardinal Willow, and even the old yellow Willow. Of late years a number of other Weeping Willows have been propagated in Germany and elsewhere, so that we are no longer confined to the old Weeping Willow, which was apt to be cut down occasionally in hard winters. When the gardener plants a Willow, it is generally some curious one with a mop head, like the “American” Weeping Willow. Country gentlemen should therefore take the Tree Willows under their own care, and plant them in bold groups and colonies here and there, by water or in wet or marshy places. A marshy place planted with underwood formed of the yellow or red Willow would be charmingly picturesque in winter-indeed, at all times-and there is no difficulty in getting any of these Willows by the hundred or thousand. In places which are much haunted by the rabbit, young Willows of these kinds go very rapidly, and, planted by streams in meadows where there are cattle, they are nibbled down, so that in certain districts a little care may be wanted to protect them. None of the Willows here mentioned should be ever grafted. I have skeleton Willows alongside some ponds, the sad remains of grafted Willows which were interesting and little-known kinds, all grafted on the common Sallow (Salix caprea). The grafted portion gradually died; the stump on which they are grafted remained sound, and from it have come the vigorous shoots of many Withies. Inasmuch as the whole country and the woods near have many of the same tree, which seeds everywhere, this unsought plantation of a common tree by garden ponds is far from a gain. “As easy to strike as a Willow,” is a proverb among gardeners, and there is no good reason for grafting these plants. The graceful Willow, called in our gardens the American Willow, is invariably grafted on the Sallow, and if not watched and the suckers removed, will quickly perish; but if a shoot of this plant be hanging into water it quickly roots, showing how easily the trees could be increased if nurserymen would take the trouble to do it in the right way. The objection to the grafting is, first of all, the frequent death of the tree; secondly, falsified and weak growth, and where it does not die, endless trouble; thirdly, we lose some of the true uses of the tree, the habit not lending itself always to grafting on the standard form. Why should we not be able to use the Weeping Willows as rock or bank plants, not on standards, in which form the growth is often less graceful than on our own root trees? Though we think the finest Willows for effect in the landscape are the Tree Willows, in all garden ground the Weeping Willows are likely to be the most planted, and we should guard against an excessive use of them in home landscape owing to this same weeping habit. One large isolated Weeping Willow, or a group of such trees on the margin of water, gives a much better effect than a number dotted about. Further, the Weeping Willow ungrafted when isolated has an advantage over many other weeping trees in its beauty of habit; all is grace and softness, like a fountain of water, the branches rise lightly into the air to fall again gracefully. On the other hand, in most other weeping trees artificially made by grafting on standards there is none of this lightness of aspect and of form. Willows are admirably suited for giving us an abundance of shade where this is desired, and they are among the hardy trees that thrive in and near towns. Only the Willows most effective in the home landscape and in the home woods are named here. Some small and alpine Willows are interesting for the rock garden, but they are more suited for botanical collections. The dwarf creeping kinds grown in gardens are-S. herbaceae, S. lanata, S. reticulata, and S. serpyllifolia, all natives of the northern parts of Europe and America. They grow well among stones in ordinary garden soil. Sometimes certain of these dwarf forms are grafted, generally on the Sallow, on which their lives are very short, and it is impossible for us to judge of the value of such kinds as S. repens var. argentea and pendula and S. caesia var. Zabeli pendula, when stuck on the ends of sticks of a wholly different nature.

Related Plants

White W.

White W. (Salix Alba) – A graceful and stately tree of the marsh lands and river valleys throughout Europe and Asia, common in Britain, and often beautiful. It has several varieties, particularly a silvery one, and a red one (britzensis). Sometimes 80 feet or more high, with a trunk diameter of 6 to 7 feet.

Withy, Sallow, Goat W.

Withy, Sallow, Goat W. (Salix Caprea) – The commonest Willow, often a round-headed low tree, in our woodlands, and the one which bears the pretty catkins early in spring, and gathered at Easter, called Palm branches. It is used in nurseries throughout Europe as a stock to secure the greatest growth of various Willows, and usually with a fatal result to the life of each kind grafted on it. The Kilmarnock Willow is a weeping variety of this Willow.

Salix Elegantissima

Salix Elegantissima – A rapid-growing and handsome weeping tree. Willows have a curious way of crossing and intercrossing, hybridising themselves in all sorts of ways, and it is difficult to account for the origin of this; but from a garden point of view this is not of so much consequence. It is tall, with long and pendent branches, a yellowish-green, often stained with russet, with a more spreading habit and a larger crown than S. babylonica.

Crack W.; Withy

Crack W.; Withy (Salix Fragilis) – A fine and often picturesque tree of our river valleys, and a native of N. Europe and W. Asia, including in it a variety of forms, among the best being the Basford Willow and the broad-leaved form, latifolia. S. Russelliana, the Bedford Willow, is considered a hybrid between this and the White Willow. There is also an orange-twigged form of the Crack Willow (S. decipiens).

Bay-leaved W.

Bay-leaved W. (Salix Pentandra) – A glossy leaved distinct looking Willow, sometimes almost a tree; a native of Britain, mostly towards the north or west, and the latest flowering Willow.

Purple or Bitter Osier

Purple or Bitter Osier (Salix Purpurea) – A British Willow of some grace of habit, though not quite a tree, and most interesting from being the origin of the Willow called American by mistake. It is really a variety of this species, and a very beautiful weeping bush, which, however, is often lost by being grafted on the common Withy, which soon kills the tree. This Willow and its varieties and hybrids are much grown in Osier beds for basket-making, though not so much as the Osier. The pendulous form of the Purple Weeping Willow, commonly called the American Weeping Willow, is not very high, but has pretty grey slender leaves, with long flexible twigs. It is usually grafted and grown as a single, umbrella-headed tree although it is much prettier grouped or massed beside the water, and it is only then that one gets its extreme grace. This Willow is grafted on the common Sallow-a usually coarse-growing Willow of which the shoots spring from below the graft. If let alone for a year or two they would soon make an end of the Purple Willow, but by continually removing them one may keep the tree alive.

Greybush W.

Greybush W. (Salix Rosmarinifolia) – A graceful bushy Willow of a nice grey color, especially for groups near water or in moist ground; hardy and of easy culture. Europe.


Osier (Salix Viminalis) – A distinct and native Willow, frequent in wet places in woods and Osier beds, rarely planted in gardens, the leaves and branches are very fine in form. It is the Willow most used for basket-making.

Golden W.

Golden W. (Salix Vitellina) – Sometimes classed with the White Willow by botanists, but from a planters point of view it is a distinct tree, never so large as the White Willow, but effective in the color of its yellow branches and twigs in the winter sun. While old trees of this often become good in form and occasionally pendulous, there is of recent years a distinctly pendulous variety, S. pendula, which is very graceful and precious indeed, and quite hardy, which should never be grafted. Some of the red twigged Willows, such as that called the Cardinal Willow, belong to S. vitellina. The twigs are used to a great extent for packing in nurseries and tying fruit trees in gardens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *