Japanese Willow Tree

Caring For A Japanese Willow Tree


The magnolia salicifolia or Japanese willow tree is a dense foliage tree. It is normally used to decorate a bare yard or entry way and it has small long branches that blow in the breeze. The bark on this tree is an unusual silvery gray color and the smaller twigs are tan. The leaves are a darker green color and it produces flowers in the early spring. These flowers are a white to light pink and they have a pleasant aroma. From September to October the Japanese willow tree also produces small showy fruit.


These trees can grow to reach from 30 to 50 feet tall. But they can be pruned to accommodate personal tastes. They can be used to enhance any landscape as a tree or they can also be used as shrubbery. They are considered a hardy plant and can be a beautiful addition to any garden or yard. They do not require any special type of care but it might be a good idea to learn how to keep these trees healthy and to know what they need to thrive.


Japanese willow trees grow best in a mix of soil and sand. They like a lot of phosphorus in the soil, so you may want to do a soil test to see if your soil contains phosphorus. You can get a soil testing kit form any garden supply center. If your soil is depleted of any phosphorus or nutrients, these tests will indicate that. You can buy a specific type of fertilizer with the needed nutrients and add them to your soil before planting. You can also add more fertilizer every few years.


The Japanese willow tree likes partial shade. This does not mean that that cannot be placed in an area that has direct sunlight. But it is recommended that if it does sit in direct sunlight, it should only be during the morning hours. You may want to plan ahead when planting these trees and map out the area where they should be placed. Paying close attention to the time of day the sunlight will hit the trees.


If you are planting more than one tree, you will need to make sure they are properly spaced. There should be around 6 to 12 feet between each plant.  The branches of these trees are long and flowing and they need room to grow. You can dig a hole deep enough to cover the entire root system and place the new tree in the hole, making sure that the roots are spread out. The soil should be loose and there should be no pebbles or rocks blocking the root system.


When it comes to watering the Japanese willow tree, you will need to do it often. These trees love water. But they also need the proper drainage to avoid root decay. You can dig a small circle trench around the base of the starter tree around 5 inches deep. Instead of watering the bottom part of the tree that is close to the root, you can fill the trench with water. This is a great way to make sure the root system stays healthy.


These trees can reach up to 50 feet in height. You can let them get that big if you only have one tree but if you are planning on using them for shrubbery, you will have to keep them pruned. You can decide on the shape of your shrubs when they start to grow and keep them pruned down to size. Remember never to prune more than 30 % of any plant at one time.