Pruning pussy willow

Having identified the mystery tree that shot up at the bottom of my garden while I was ill, I now need to know how to prune it.It provides a welcome screen from the houses overlooking my garden that I would not have dared to plant had I been well enough to garden. I don't want to take all their light or push their wall over. However, I want to avoid the horrible twiggy effect that you see on trees that have been cut back hard. I'd prefer to take it out and try something else than mutilate it. Here's a photo.






  • Grandma,

    You could prune it to about half way between the top of the end fence and the top of the tree (where there's a kind of natural gap in the foliage). Just make the cut ends into a slightly curved profile. These trees are quite forgiving and it will put on about three feet of new growth by next July.


  • Thanks, Joe. While we're on the subject, do you think I'll get away with it being so close to the fence?

  • It will keep growing! Looks as though it's almost touching the fence, so even if you keeping pruning the crown, the trunk will still get fatter

  • It is touching the fence. I looked on the FC site where it said they only grow to 6-10 metres. I'd guess it is about 8 metres now, at five years old. I'd be gutted to take it down because it is a lot more beautiful than the houses behind my garden, but perhaps I am being unrealistic...

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