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My Willow or Hazel, which one and what's going to happen ??

Hi Everyone,  I bought a little tree 6 years ago, i think it was a willow and i would have thought i would have checked the final height however, i had just had a baby and was rather frazzled, didn't keep the label !!!

What did i buy, can anyone please help ?  

For the first few years it did





n't do much and this last year it has grown to about 12 foot.  It is near a fence and i can't afford for something to go crazy out of control.

How big will it grow, can i save it or will i have to get rid of it to save problems later on ?  I have attached pics.  Any advice or knowledge very gratefully received.


  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    Definitely a willow! Yes it is too near to the fence. And yes, it is going to get bigger. And what is digging under your fence?
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,008

    It's a willow.  You can cut it back hard to about head or fence height before the end of January - not when it's freezing - and it will grow new shoots in spring.   This is called pollarding and can be done every year if needs be.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Salix matsudana Tortuosa the Contorted Willow. I remember helping to tranfer a specimen about 5 ft in height from someones garden [they were worried it would grow too big] to the front lawn of a Church 33 years ago. It is now about 35ft high and 30 ft wide and looks like ithas been there for a lot longer.

  • Oh my Gosh, 35ft !!  I think we may have to sacrifice !!  What was i thinking, definitely baby brain.  What a shame, it looks so loverly.  I was aiming for something to create a nice shady spot to sit under.

    As for the hole digging, we assume it's a fox but we have never seen the fella so not sure !

  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 7,063

    My neighbour planted one next to the fence between our gardens and about 5ft from his extension.  My tree surgeon said he was mad and that it should come out as it will grow huge.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    I think your neighbour's tree surgeon is right Yviestevie!

    Just be thankful, Cat, that it's not one of the large willows like the ordinary weeping willow.  But I reckon that if it's pollarded or even coppiced annually you might be OK - and you'll have a copious supply of wands/withies/what-you-will-depending-on-where-you-live to weave some baskets with!

    That hole could be dug by a fox, but what about rabbits?  Droppings?

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,008

    Not convinced you can weave with twisted willow but it does lend itself to decorative bare stems in flower arrangements and at Xmas.

    I would get rid and plant something less vigorous and with attractive bark in winter so maybe a prunus serrulata which has lovely, shiny, coppery bark for winter glow and spring blossoms and attractive foliage with autumn colour - 


    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks for all you answers !  Very helpful and i love the sound of Prunus Serrulata Oblelixx i will definitely investigate that one.

    No droppings so not rabbits, my son keeps laying down twigs over the whole and fascinated how they are all dispersed in the morning image

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