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justindesiree

I really want a weeping willow tree!

Faith M
17 days ago

I went to a nursery a couple of months ago and the worker talked me out of getting one. I completely understand the reasoning, but I can't stop thinking it. I could plant it about 50+ feet from my house. Should I do it?

Comments (117)

  • tdemonti
    14 days ago

    O would spend the summer prepping the planting spot then plant early fall to avoid stressing the tree.

  • pat1250
    14 days ago

    If a weeping willow is native to your area, I would consider it given the size of your property. If non-native, consider an alternate ‘weeping” tree…..personally, a weeping cherry is much more grand - it’s spring flowering is superb…you won’t get that from the willow.

  • Faith M
    Original Author
    14 days ago
    last modified: 14 days ago

    Flo Mangan, thank you so much for your ideas! I didn't get a chance to take photos during the daylight, today, so I was going to show you my land survey. You got it very close to what our yard is actually like! I love all of your ideas!! How difficult would it be to make the pretty water creek/dry river you drew on there? I love everything you did... and the patio in the photos is beautiful!! You have definitely given me some new goals! Oh, and our trampoline got destroyed in a storm, so we no longer have it and do not have to work around it so even better! Here is the survey so you can see how close you got! We had our fence moved further up since the photos I posted were taken, so even more room in the backyard to work with! I drew it in on the survey in gray. I definitely want to do different areas like you suggested! That is so neat!!


  • Faith M
    Original Author
    14 days ago

    barncatz, how far was it from your house? Glad it has not invaded your pipes. You are giving me hope! I don't mind dealing with a messy tree that I love. I just don't want any major issues.


    tdemonti, I already have it sitting in my yard in a pot while trying to decide if I should actually plant it.


    pat1250, I LOVE the cherry willow, also!!

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
    14 days ago

    Neither weeping willow nor weeping cherry are native to N America, so that isn’t a criterion for choosing one over the other. Personally, if I had that much space and I desperately wanted a weeping willow I’d plant one. And have a weeping cherry too.....

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    13 days ago

    I gave you both weeping Willow and Weeping Cherry. So excited for you. I still like the “game” area to the left portion of the yard. As to pond and dry River bed. Not to hard. Just takes energy. And some strong people. I laid everything out, and used landscaper spray to mark the ground and had a landscaper implement it for me. Main trick for River bed, scoop out area about 4” deep or so and line with DOUBLE LAYER of black heavy plastic. Don’t let anyone talk you out of this. By doing this weeds are dead stopped from coming up and giving you maintenance headache. Then layer in River rock (it’s cheapest around here) and then buy bags of flat black Japanese rocks ($$$) and at end, lay them in to simulate water in stream. You will need power for pump to recirculate water in a pond. Preformed black heavy plastic tubs available and I would not do real fish. Too much maintenance. Also they attract raccoons and don’t last long at least where I am. What I did, is when grands were coining, a week or so before, I would get bright orange gold fish from local pet store. They lasted quite a whole. In fact, one got to be about 6” long. Raccoon waited for bigger size! Sadly. I laid conduit for power line. One thing I didn’t do that I would do in future is to add timer to fountain. Once pond hole is dug, lay play sand on bottom and use to level pond up. Set it several inches above ground level, because you want to surround it with stone. If you create waterfall with large boulders, you will need super heavy duty black plastic to put under boulders so water gets directed back into pond. I would hire this done by good pond company because it can be tricky. Once that’s all done, then you can haul in River rock and Japanese rocks for finishing touches. Get 3-6” River rock. Stays put better than smaller size. Get shiny Black Flat rocks for wet look. If budget permits, I would hire this section done. It’s hard work. You could put two weeping willows. One (the one you have) in far left corner and select a bigger one with very nice truck shape near water feature. Placement is important. Or put nice larger one over in corner and do weeping Cherry near pond. Willow leaves better further away from pond. Keep it as natural as possible. I would get as large a specimens as you can afford for main trees. That way, you get quicker look. With your sewer line out front you should not have any problem with roots or with your cement work. Willows grow fast. Giant Timber Bamboo grows fast too. It is a “container” type bamboo so not invasive like rhizome type bamboo. Need to avoid rhizome bamboo. People confuse these. That’s probably enough info for now. Other options and details later. Morning!

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    13 days ago

    Some options. 20 mil plastic for lining dry River bed. Preformed pond with spots for potted water lilies to sit if you wish.

  • Seajay Sparkles
    13 days ago

    Awesome work Flo. Faith has a beautiful yard to begin with.

  • Faith M
    Original Author
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Flo Mangan, thank you so so much! I appreciate all of your help! I am so excited to work on my yard with all these things in mind. It might take me awhile to get it how your yard looked, but I am okay with that. How much do you think the river would cost to have professionally installed? I will call around to ask in my area, but I wouldn't even know what a fair price is. I really like the play area, too. We have five kids (two are still young) and they would love to have areas like you describe! Right now, I have oak trees along the back fence. I chose them because they are evergreen and I am trying to block out the school. :P I would like to have some of the other trees mixed in if I can. I would LOVE to have a River Birch and a Weeping Cherry. Those are both so beautiful. I hope I can find them. As far as the fish, my friend has some in a pond in her yard and she also says it's a lot of work, so I will take the same route you did.


    Seajay Sparkles, thank you! And yes, Flo did an amazing job.

  • Jinx
    13 days ago

    Awesome ideas, Flo … Faith, please keep us updated.

    Better yet, invite us all over for a backyard unveiling party when it’s done. :D

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    13 days ago

    Thanks everyone! Faith. You can plant variety of trees you have so much space. Are they Live Oaks in back? They grow pretty quickly. Just mix textures and colors. Perhaps your older young ones could help develop this plan. They might want some things over in play area. I can’t give a estimate for the dry River bed because I don’t know distances. But you could measure a winding River for length. Make it on average 3’ wide and take measurements to a stone yard and tell them what you want to do. Have them calculate stone for 4” of depth. If you can estimate materials my rule of thumb is add that cost for labor. So if you need $400 of rock for example figure $400 for labor to haul it from your driveway area to back and spread in prepared and lined River bed.

  • Faith M
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    Interesting you say that... I was thinking along the same lines. I have three larger oak trees that a professional landscaper planted. I found some smaller ones at Home Depot (yes, they are live oaks) to mix in. Does anyone know if I can get away with planting some as close as 5 feet to the back fence? The larger ones are 7 feet from the fence and I don't want them in a straight row and I don't really want them closer to the house as I want as much natural light to enter my home as possible. I am going to go see if I can find the River Birch, today, as I think that would be perfect for our yard. I could put an oak tree in the play area, for sure.

  • beesneeds
    13 days ago

    What kind of live oaks are they?

  • Faith M
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    Beesneeds, they are Empire Live Oaks.

  • beesneeds
    13 days ago

    At a height and spread of 40' listed on the Empires from waht I can tell, I'm not sure I'd want to put them that close to the fence. Don't forget at mature size if you plant 5' off the fence, that can mean 20+ feet of spread growing over the fence. You might find that the 7' spacing off the fence for the ones you have already planted might get a bit tight as they hit maturity. Trunk curcumfrences can get a bit bigger too.


  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    13 days ago

    I would still like photos taken from possibly inside house looking out from corners to middle to other corner. Depending on what “zone” you are in, you might have to wait til fall to plant trees. You can do overall layouts, get infrastructure in such as wiring for fountain and or pond water pumps etc. Do the planning and layouts now. Be ready for sept/October planting. Just sticking trees in without an overall plan is a waste of time and energy and probably money. So take it a step at a time.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    13 days ago

    You could develop side yard for kids space. Corn hole spot, horseshoe beds, sail for sone shade, bench stuff like that.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    13 days ago

    Plant jasmine on fence for some greenery and fragrance in Spring. Making “destinations” in the garden is a time tested approach. If you are in the South, Loblolly pines are inexpensive and grow fast for greenery around live oaks. They can create nice “screen” from back to block school.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    13 days ago

    Start with different heights of trees too. Here is small loblolly pine and U S map for zones where these do well. Also, a black pine. Once you get layout for riverbed one of these on border makes for a great display.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    13 days ago

    I have bought Loblolly’s at Lowes and just picked nice shapes especially when on sale and they did really well. Cheap too.

  • Faith M
    Original Author
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Flo Mangan, I will go out and take photos right now and I will post them as soon as I can. I did go to a nursery today and I got a River Birch and a pink Crepe Myrtle. I already have the Weeping Willow in a pot in the backyard, so I'm going to have to just plant it and see how it does. Everyone around here seems to be planting right now. The stores (like Home Depot, Lowe's, and even Walmart) are selling trees like crazy! Same with the nurseries. We are in the south, by the way. I will water them every day to every other day until they seem like they are established. My husband is about to help me plant right now. The layout you showed me will work with how the trees are planted. I will get you photos asap. I'm keeping everything you showed me in mind while I plant. The weeping willow will have to go near where you put the trampoline because the large oaks are already along the back fence, but other than that, I think I can do placement how you showed. The only one I'm having trouble with is where I should put the River Birch. I am trying to get a privacy screen with the oaks, but I like where you had them on the map.

  • Faith M
    Original Author
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Right when you walk into backyard:









    I plan on putting either the Little Gem Magnolia or the Crepe Myrtle on the right side of the house.



  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    13 days ago

    You have a great start. I agree put the weeping Willow toward back left corner but put at least 10-12’ into yard to give it plenty of growth space. What is this?

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    13 days ago

    Here are some tools and aids you should keep in your tool box. All valuable to doing landscape and other projects. You may already have some.

  • Faith M
    Original Author
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago



    I could put something on the front left side of house:


    I am moving that Burgundy Hearts Redbud. I want to put the Weeping Willow in the middle of that diagonal fence. Hoping it's not too close to the Live Oaks if I do that.


  • Faith M
    Original Author
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    The thing in the pot is just the River Birch that I bought today. I sat it in a hole we already had.


  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    13 days ago

    River birches look best with nice background so their branches show nicely. I would consider putting yours in front left corner and expand that bed so the tree sits up on berm of dirt and accents that part of yard. Something like this. Place at least 8’ from corner of the house.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    13 days ago

    The weeping Willow in back corner in front of angled part of fence. I put some Star Jasmine on the fence. I put a couple benches under the tree. Make it a “destination”!

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    13 days ago

    I assume those are posts for moving that fence/gate forward?

  • Faith M
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    I so wish I could put the River Birch there in the front yard, but I do not have 8 ft from the house... that would go into the neighbor's yard if I did. The front yard is pretty small compared to the backyard. Would it look good next to the willow tree? I don't really know where else to put it. Yes, the posts are the old fence posts. We were trying to decide if we were going to make that area a vegetable garden and use it to fence animals out, but I doubt we are going to at this point. I am probably going to remove them once I figure out what to do with the line of sprinklers that is right there. I don't really want to have the sprinklers moved, but I don't want the gardener to run them over with the lawn mower. Is there some sort of plant border I could put there that would not look weird? I love the idea of the benches and pretty plants near the willow tree!

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    13 days ago

    Ok. Then the birch has to go in far right corner in backyard but out at least a few feet from the fence. That would work.

  • Faith M
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    Next to the willow? Or when you first walk in the gate and straight ahead?

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    13 days ago

    River birch here. I would get a second one too. Be careful of multi trunks. They can split.

  • Faith M
    Original Author
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    I do think that is one of the best spots for it. We put one of the small oak trees there, last night, thinking that is the best way to block the view of the school all year round. I'll have to think this over some more to decide if I should move the oak tree so it looks really nice or if I should leave the oak tree to have year-round blockage. I'll also take another photo of that back fence so you can see what it looks like with all oak trees. The oak trees are pretty much zig-zagged all along that back fence with the weeping willow in the trampoline spot. I still have to decide on the perfect spot for the burgundy hearts redbud, the crepe myrtle, and the of course the river birch. I also have a pink dogwood sitting on my driveway (you can see it in one of the photos near the garage) and a Little Gem (that one will probably go in the front yard right next to the house - I'll attach a photo of how I want that to look). Oh, and I think the nursery only had multi-trunk river birch trees.


  • Faith M
    Original Author
    12 days ago

    I might have an idea... I can remove the fence posts and make a huge flower bed that curves around then plant the River Birch in it.


  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    12 days ago

    You need to think through the overall look from inside the house as your looking out. The large bed on the side will create a huge maintenance location, take up valuable “play space” and can’t be seen (much) from inside. The little Gem will be nice in front just play 18” from house to allow for growth and air flow. I think the Willow will overpower the oaks in that left corner unless you plant the willow 15’ from the oaks. A tip for helping visualize is to take buckets or storage containers and set them where you want main plants. Then go inside and look out to see what you see. Adjust so the views from inside are as great as you can make them. Once your yard takes shape and starts growing the school will fade from view. The eye will travel along the various key plants and focal points. Right now you seem to be planting stuff just to do it. Once plants get established you will probably never move them so give it a bit of time.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    12 days ago

    When selecting River Birches, try to get ones that have clear separate trunks if they have more than one main trunk. About 2 weeks after planting, trim and shape birches so they don’t get too off balanced. They grow fast so good to cut off parts that are sticking out too much. But not more than say 12” for first cut.

  • happyleg
    12 days ago

    Here's a look

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    12 days ago

    Afternoon Faith! I have revised your Draft Master Plan, Rev2. Tried to capture what you have planted and tried doing the layout roughly as your photos depict. Hope this is helpful as you move forward.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    12 days ago

    You can transplant the Burgundy redbud over near the Live Oak because it is a beautiful “under plant” type specimen. Plus, your fence will provide protection from too much sun hopefully.

  • Jinx
    12 days ago

    Flo, you are so generous to share your time and talent this way. :)

    Fun project to watch!

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    12 days ago

    Thanks Jinx. So exciting to see a blank yard cone to life!

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    12 days ago

    Come not cone. Grr!

  • Mama Cita
    12 days ago

    Chiming in to agree with Jinx here — Flo I have long enjoyed your voice on Houzz but “Green Flo” is a side I hadn’t seen! The wonderland you created for your kids, your gardening collaboration with your neighbor, the encouragement you’re giving Faith, all reveal so much creativity and kindness!

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    12 days ago

    Wow! You blow me over Mama Cita. Right back at ya too!

  • Faith M
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    Thank you so much Flo Mangan! You have given me such amazing ideas! I am going to transplant the redbud in front of the oak trees for sure. I also have a pink dogwood I'll put in somewhere. An idea I had awhile ago came back to me. The idea I had with the fence posts was to create some sort of secret garden for the kids or maybe Mr. McGregor's garden. I could do a combination of both. I even wanted a hook to hang a little blue jacket on (lol). So I might have fencing put back up with an opening in the middle (I probably won't put a gate up, but could put the narrow pine bushes up at each edge) and then I can put trees and bushes in front of the fence. Inside the secret garden I could have a bench with some other plants (maybe a crepe myrtle). The kids really want a space where they can garden so they can do it in there.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    11 days ago

    That’s great idea! Do keep me updated! It’s going to be wonderful for the whole family!! I love that!

  • jayapple21
    11 days ago

    Faith, I've just read through your 'dilemma' and I can tell you're excited for the future. We had a mature weeping willow on our lot when I was a kid (that and a little narrow creek behind it were already there when Mom and Dad bought the property) and we loved playing under it. I don't remember the mess but kids don't think about things like that.

    My concern for you right now is the distance your live oaks are planted from the fence. I think you said 7'. Is that really far enough away from the fence? Is that what they advised you to do at the plant nursery? I have very old live oaks in my yard - the really tall kind - and their root systems go forever. I think you have the smaller version so I don't know what the root growth for your variety will be but 7' from a fence just seemed awfully close to me.

  • Faith M
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    Jayapple, our willow tree has officially been planted and staked and I am super excited to watch it grow! I love hearing people's memories of their weeping willows. The landscaper actually wanted to plant it about 10 feet away, but I keep seeing beautiful backyards with giant trees (including oak) and many are right up on the fence (less than a foot between the trunk and the fence). I'm trying to create a forest! What is the main concern with how close they are?

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