Willow Giant


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Willow Giant

Postby muchenje » 08 Feb 2007 15:29

I have a Willow tree next to a pond that has grown huge. I want to lop some of the big branches out- is this a good idea and whats the best way to do it. It looks like this was done previously and branches cut down to trunk?
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Postby gardening_guru » 15 Feb 2007 20:31


Yes Willows do usually respond well to vigorous pruning. Infact, some of the shrub varieties require it annually to maintain a healthy percentage of young wood. It is the young wood that displays the best colour. I would guess that your willow is probably a weeping willow (Salix babylonica). These do grow very large. It is shame that you have to prune it as you will lose any structural framework that has been built up over many years. But safety has to be your primary concern and if there is a risk of the tree getting much too big and blowing over in a gale then it is probably best pruned.
Prune when the tree is dormant e.g. now or next winter and seek the advice and expertise of a professional tree surgeon if the job is too big for you. Prune to a manageable size. Any resulting clean wounds should produce health young shoots. Never prune when in full leaf as the sap is rising at a fair rate of knots and pruning will cause severe stress, even causing the tree to ‘bleed’ to death. Also pruning during the warmer growing season may result in the resulting young foliage being extremely susceptible to attack from aphids.
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