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Very tall twisted willow tree

We have inherited a very tall twisted willow, with leaves only at the top couple of feet.  The whole tree is over 20 feet tall.  As the foliage is so high up, and therefore not really visible, all we have to look at is the twisted trunk and stems.  Can we cut it down hard to get new growth lower down, or will that kill the tree?

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,384
    Hello and welcome to the forum @hel.vessey :) 
    I'd cut it right down, grind out the stump and take some of the young whippy branches and put them in the ground ... willow whips strike so easily if the ground is reasonably damp, they're almost guaranteed.  You could then coppice them every few years keeping your 'multistemmed tree' a reasonable size ... you would also have the plus of having the fresh colour of the young stems every spring ... win/win 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • hel.vesseyhel.vessey Posts: 3
    Hello and welcome to the forum @hel.vessey :) 
    I'd cut it right down, grind out the stump and take some of the young whippy branches and put them in the ground ... willow whips strike so easily if the ground is reasonably damp, they're almost guaranteed.  You could then coppice them every few years keeping your 'multistemmed tree' a reasonable size ... you would also have the plus of having the fresh colour of the young stems every spring ... win/win 
    So do you think I would kill the tree if I just "pruned" it by half its size?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 61,384
    No, you wouldn't kill it ... you could pollard it rather than coppice it ... but it would need 're-pollarding' every few years which is quite a big  job usually requiring a professional tree surgeon .  Regular coppicing is a much easier job carried out at ground level. 

    https://www.chewvalleytrees.co.uk/guides/article/coppicing-and-pollarding
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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