My young willow tree broke off completely at the base. Will it shoot roots again if I just place the whole tree in water/soil? Thanks

  • 2
    The root will grow new shoots very fast. You could take cuttings from the stems as well, if you want to
    – J. Musser
    Apr 6, 2017 at 14:25
  • which variety of Willow is it?
    – Bamboo
    Apr 6, 2017 at 14:33
  • 1
    Could you post a picture of the thing for us to picture the damage?
    – J. Chomel
    Apr 6, 2017 at 14:47
  • Most salix root brilliantly in water. Probably one of the best rooters.
    – JonathanC
    Apr 7, 2017 at 17:09

3 Answers 3


Your willow tree will root again if it's not too water-stressed.

What you should do is

  • dig or ask someone to dig a deep hole in the ground, to be able to put at least a quarter of the size of the whole trunk.

  • anchor your tree to the ground! You may use a strong stick, deeply stuck in the ground - 45° angle with the trunk, aligned in the prominent wind stream of your place

anchor your willow tree

  • remove unnecessary branches and leaves; prune heavily to avoid too much water to evaporate - anyway, the branches and leaves that are "extra" will die soon.

  • water frequently.


Oh, yeah, it'll grow back. I'm on my second planted willow. The issue I was having, and it might be similar to yours is that it was a 6'+ tree, but it had been staked. When a plant isn't allowed to sway with the wind, crack the bark, and callous over, it's super weak. My first one was okay till the first snow storm bent it to the ground. I cut dug it up and planted a new one, which I staked with enough play to sway and build a good trunk. It took 3 years before I was comfortable removing it completely. I took the old tree, cut the trunk off about 6" from the root ball and just jammed it and the red clay stuck to the root ball, into the pot the new one came out of. Then I just set it in the puddle created by the AC and left it there all summer. It produced a skinny, but almost 6' tall shoot out of just that. I ended up planting it down at the river. So you can definitely regrow it from the stump.

Don't let the top go to waste though. Cut the rest of it up and stick it in moist soil. Just put a bunch of them in a pot of miracle grow and set the pot in a drip tray. Keep the drip tray full and let it soak up the water. You'll end up with a ton of weeping willows.

The have a natural chemical in them that promotes root growth. You can also roughly cut up what's left and stick it in a container of water and leave it out in the heat for a few weeks and the resulting water will act like a liquid root hormone for other cuttings you make.


Hi there from Australia Queensland. I found a weeping willow growing on a corner of an intersection in a little town in Queensland and decided to stop and investigate. I had found an old branch that had broken almost all the way of the main trunk and it had alot of rot in it and the 12-14" log was still alive with 2 viens on each side of the log with new growth on it. This thing is going to look great for a bonsai if it works out. It took me 3hrs in the stinking heat but I was determined to get it home with a few other large cuttings. I put it in the back of my ute and covered the base with a wet sheet until I got home. I put it in a big tub of water until the next day. The next day I had a good look to see what I could do, so it will give it the best chance of surviving, so I got a chisle and took all the rot out that I could, and put it straight back into the water, which I change about every 2-3 days.I had found a plastic tap that I had, and I put it on my big 100ltr container so I can drain the water without damaging the roots. Its been in that container for about 4 weeks already and you can see white lumps coming up from the base, which looks positive, while my other large cuttings are already fully rooted with feeder roots that are ready to go into pots, but my big one, the best one is slow to produce roots. I would like to continue leaving it in the water which I fertilize every 4 weeks, a 20-20-20 ratio, but would like to hear from someone who has done a similar cutting that big.

Looking forward to hearing back from you Thanks for letting me explain my situation.

  • As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Feb 15 at 17:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.