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Willow Trees
How long do they live?

Q: Would you please let me know the life expectency of a willow tree?

Thank you,

A: Generally, willows are not long-lived, especially when you compare them with trees such as the oaks and maples.

White oaks have been known to live 300+ years (the white oak at my church has a trunk about 67" in diameter and is an estimated 350 years old).

Typically, the average willow may live 75-100 years if it is in a location that favors willows (lots of moisture) and these conditions don't change radically during its stay. If the conditions change enough during the tree's lifetime, it may decline in health and die prematurely.

Much of the problem with willows is that they are very prone to decay, and being a soft wood they break easily enough even without decay being present.

To reduce the possibility of decay, try not to injure the tree in any way, and when the tree is pruned have it pruned properly by qualified arborists who will not top the tree or perform other unapproved practices on it.

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Tom Mugridge

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