Salix babylonica is tree native to northern China and eventually spread to the rest of the world. Its life expectancy is between 40 to 75 years.
AS A Bonsai:
They are propagated easily from cuttings and truncheons. As it is a NEMBA Category 2 tree, it is considered an alien invader, here in South Africa, and thus will not be propagated and sold through commercial nurseries. Those who grow them for bonsai, will find them extremely challenging. Salex growth rate is rapid, 30cm a month, which grows upwards, initially, before weeping. Thus you need to wire early and watch for wire damage. In winter salex shreds its leaves and often its drooping branches as well. So much hard work is shred, to start again in the next growing season. Thus many new commers to bonsai would like to try salex as a bonsai, but as we get experience, concentrate on trees that are more rewarding and less demanding.
Weeping Willow – by Jonathan Cain
The tree is deciduous, loosing its leaves and many fine branches in winter. It grows everywhere, especially along rivers.