Dwarf weeping willow trees are compact varieties of full-sized willows, popular for their sweeping, graceful branches that extend to the ground. Dwarf weeping willows have the added benefit of being small enough to fit into many home landscapes without disturbing underground water and sewage systems. Damaging pipelines is a risk when planting full-sized willows, as their root systems can be very aggressive.
Native to Central Asia, dwarf weeping willow trees can eventually reach heights of 6 to 10 feet. They are ornamental, providing no edible fruit. The long, slender branches of the willow split into slender stems containing thin, greenish-silver leaves about 6 inches long. Dwarf weeping willows appreciate full sun and plenty of moisture. Plant them along the edge of a water source to allow their root systems to thoroughly soak. The trees are hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9.
The major diseases dwarf weeping willows are susceptible to are crown gall and bacterial blight. The best method of preventing disease is to ensure that the trees have plenty of warmth and sun and excellent air circulation. Pests that prey on willows include borers, scale, whitefly and aphids. Again, the best method of pest management is to grow the trees where they are happy, and to ensure that the landscape as a whole is healthy. Do not crowd trees. Cut off and discard of diseased specimens. Do not use chemical pesticides, as they eliminate dwarf weeping willow pests' natural predators, thus throwing off your landscape's inherent ability to stay strong and balanced.
Combine dwarf weeping willows with other plants that like the water's edge. Place them in view of a window so that you can enjoy watching the swooping of their branches in the breeze, as well as the birds that are attracted to make the sheltered nooks beneath their branches home.