Weeping Willow Trees (Salix Babylonica) are a common decorative tree used in landscaping throughout the Greater Victoria area. Weeping willows are easy to spot with their long, graceful stems that dangle delicately back and forth with the breeze.
Weeping willows grow rapidly and if not taken care of will eventually block out light from your lawn, garden and even your home. They also create a very large mess in the fall when all of the leaves fall off.
Prune Your Weeping Willow or Remove It Entirely?
If you can't decide whether to remove the tree entirely or just prune it back take these items into consideration. If the tree is very large and leaning either towards your home or a neighbours home then it's a good candidate for removal.
Large, old Weeping Willows that have been pruned back a number of times over the years can also pose a danger and could be considered for removal because the exposed wood on the limbs (where they were cut and new growth is coming out) can actually begin to decay and you'll be left with weak new branches. These branches can fall off the tree in heavy winds or without warning and cause damage to your home or property.
Weeping Willow Trees that are left unchecked and too close to the home can account for many thousands of dollars in property damage annually throughout the Greater Victoria area.
If your Willow Tree isn't encroaching on your home or property and you love how it looks in the spring and summer with it's big, beautiful crown then it's probably a better decision to prune the tree properly and keep it. After a good pruning your Willow Tree will grow vigorously developing a new crown of weeping branches that will require pruning again every 3-5 years depending on your property.
What Time Of Year Should You Prune Your Weeping Willow?
The fall and winter are great times to prune back a Willow Tree because the tree is dormant and all of the leaves have fallen and it's much easier to access the tree and it's primary branches.
Trimming it back in the winter also gives the tree a chance to recover before the spring showers arrive and the optimal growing season.
Weeping Willows can be pruned back as late as March but you'll greatly slow down it's growth for that year if you prune the tree when it's not dormant.
Because weeping willow trees are such a fast growing tree, the long sweeping branches may even need trimming during spring and summer to prevent them from coming into contact with your lawn, garden, roof, siding or driveway.
Whenever you choose to prune your Weeping Willow tree it should be started while the tree is still young and will respond well to shaping as to encourage the growth of a healthy central trunk and main branches.
How Much Should Be Taken Off?
This really depends on the specific tree and how you'd like to shape it to suit your property. Weeping willows are actually quite hardy and they can tolerate being pruned back quite a bit. You can see in the example slideshow above how much we pruned off this Weeping Willow and it will come back very healthy growth this coming spring.
If the tree is very large many owners of Weeping Willows prefer to trim back the long branches so they dangle 6-8 feet off the ground which allows for a beautiful shady area under the tree and still let's enough light in for your grass to grow.
How Much Will Trimming My Weeping Willow Tree Cost?
This really depends on the size of the tree and whether you'd like it pruned or removed totally. Removing the tree is usually a little faster than pruning but still leaves us with a big mess to clean up and remove from your property.
Pruning a tree takes considerable time as we need to get up in the tree using ladders or equipment to prune out large branches, that still need to be cleaned up and removed from your property.
$400 - $1000 is a good ballpark estimate to get a large, willow tree back under control. The larger the tree the more money it will cost.
Who Trims Weeping Willow Trees in Victoria, Sidney or Saanich?
Island Pro Mowing and Landscaping is a full service landscaping contractor based on the Saanich Peninsula. Among our many services we provide pruning and removal of Weeping Willow Trees throughout the Saanich Peninsula and Greater Victoria.
If you'd like to receive an estimate to prune back or remove a Weeping Willow tree on your property please give us a call or fill out our contact form and we'll get right back to you to schedule a time.