The Q&A Archives: Weeping Pussy Willow

Question: I have a weeping willow (S caprea pendula 'Weeping Sally') about 6' tall. How & when do I prune this to help keep it from tangling & to keep it's lovely weeping form?

Answer: This tree will not need too much pruning, the weeping form should develop naturally. If the branches become too dense (or if you want to cut some branches for the vase) you can thin it lightly in late winter. To do this, use sharp bypass pruners or a sharp hand pruning saw to remove individual branches. Cut close to the junction with the next larger branch, leaving barely a stub but being careful not to destroy the branch collar (slight swelling at the base of the branch where it meets the next one) which will eventually grow over and seal the cut. Do not use pruning paint.

Also, since this is usually a grafted plant, always remove any suckers growing from the ground or from the trunk below the graft. Rub them off the trunk or cut them off underground as soon as you see these. If you do not do this, the errant growth may supercede the desired weeping top.

Enjoy your weeping pussy willow!

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