To successfully transplant a weeping willow, you need to carefully extract the root ball and trim the branches correctly before moving the tree to a prepared area. Tools needed include a flat-edged shovel, shears, a tarp and loppers.
- Prepare the root ball
Begin the transplanting process two to three months before the tree will be moved by preparing the root ball. Measure and dig a circle around the tree that is two-thirds the diameter of the canopy. Cut through the feeder roots and allow the tree to adjust before the move begins.
- Prune the branches
Remove one-third of the tree's canopy. This allows the tree to direct its energy to the root system after it has been replanted.
- Prepare the new site
Clear the area of grass and weeds. Prepare a hole that is twice as large as the root ball and the same depth as the tree is currently. Work in compost to a depth of one foot, and water the tree well.
- Remove and relocate the willow
Mark the side of the tree facing the sun. Back up 6 inches from the original cut and release the tree from the soil, cutting through any feeder roots with loppers. Place the tree on a tarp and drag the tarp to the new location. Water the root ball. Orient the tree so the mark is facing the sun. Back fill the hole with soil. Water two to three times per week until the willow is established.