The Q&A Archives: Pruning Weeping Willow

Question: I have a new weeping willow I planted in the spring. It is an umbrella one that gets no bigger than 6ft. tall. The willow branches are almost to the ground. Do I cut it back? and if so how far?

Answer: Pruning generally signals a plant to put on new growth. This late in the season new growth won't have an opportunity to harden off before first frost, making it vulnerable to permanent damage. It would be best for your tree if you wait and prune in the spring when the buds swell. Weeping willows are often pruned several feet above the ground. You can cut all the stems and branches the same level, or cut individual stems at random to give a more natural shaggy look.

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