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when to prune a Pussy Willow Tree?

Hello all,  Could you please tell me when to prune a Pussy willow tree . It is 3 years old, The name is Kilmarnock. It has been very happy since I planted it, but this year, in September, it is too dense, too low growing and looking very sorry for itself. The leaves have turned a mottled yellow and brown. I have kept it well watered, it has been a bit wobbly in the winds we have had in Wales, but there is still some new shoots growing. Any advice gratefully accepted. Many thanks,
Hazel.
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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 33,158
    Best done after the catkins in spring.
    The only problem with pruning them is that they're designed to be that shape and just spread, but the branches often reach ground level and become untidy. Many people just shear them off all the way round like a mushroom, but I find that very unattractive, and you also end up with all the cut ends branching. I think it's better to remove single stems now and again.
    Personal choice though. I got given grief by someone on the forum a while ago, for suggesting someone shouldn't 'umbrella' their Kilmarnock willow.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 1,456
    Can you add a photo to see the state it is in? 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • Thank you for the reply - here are some pictures
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited 15 September
    You could hard prune it now if you wanted and it will re-cover.
    I had a Kilmarnock willow that someone "umbrella-d". It was full of flies which jumped out at me as I walked past so I waited until all the leaves fell off and removed all of the branches right back to the top of the trunk. In spring and summer it made lots of attempts to re-grow which I kept pruning out and it has now given up which I am happy with. It serves as somewhere to hang the bird feeder from.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 33,158
    You could take individual branches right out, and leave some in situ,  or prune right back. It depends on how  bothered you are about the look of it. It's easier to see the general look if it's dormant though  :)
    They're grafted, so yes - if you keep pruning they give up, or sprout from below the graft. That becomes a bigger problem altogether  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Thank you both, Can I ask you, is it normal for the graft to be at the top of the tree?
    Just checked mine and the trunk is tall and all the growth is coming from the top. Nothing shooting from the trunk at all. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 33,158
    I think that's how they're done. I can't remember as it's while since I've had any.
    I really dislike them  :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Nothing I can say to that answer Fairygirl! Except, At present, I agree with you, I don't like mine either now!! I will prune it, give it one more chance to recover and if it doesn't then it's curtains for Cousin it !! Many thanks for everyone's reply, You never fail me and always inspire. Happy gardening.
    HAZEL.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 33,158
    I inherited a group of them at my last house. They were fine - mainly because they were a long away from the house [ ;)] so weren't in my face, but they were loved by the flocks of sparrows, who hid in them from predators. They were at the edge of the pond, and on a bit of a slope, and needed no attention. 

    I'm not sure they have many redeeming features though! 

    There are so many other better shrubs/trees for a garden IMO  :)

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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