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Pruning Kilmarnock Willow

I have a Kilmarnock Willow tree and would like some advice  on when and how to prune it please.


  • Hi, CA.....nothing special about pruning Kilmarnock Willow really. Prune mid- to late spring, after flowering and once the risk of frost has passed.

    Or, put another way, prune as code 1 if it were a clematis. 

  • I received a Kilmarnock willow in a pot for Mother's Day and I'd like to transplant it to an island bed in the garden. It has a few catkins but no leaves yet. The instruction label says to prune it evenly to 10 -15 cms after catkins have flowered. Is this a bit harsh or is it the norm? 

  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 7,578

    That does sound a bit harsh, ChrissyAnn.  You can get Kilmarnock willow grafted onto a stem as a standard, when it "weeps" from the top of the stem - or just as a ground-hugging shrub.  The standard, weeping sort really doesn't want pruning, unless it touches the ground; its beauty is in its long, weeping branches, especially when they are covered in catkins.  If you give it a haircut it tends to look a bit naff, frankly...  The only time I'd prune it is if it suffers dieback.  Sometimes they get a fungal condition called anthracnose (sounds like a joke, but it does exist, honestly!), which causes shoots to go black, and these need cutting out and burning.

    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • Thanks Liriodendron, I've taken your advice ????

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