The Q&A Archives: pruning for color of dappled willow

Question: The new growth of my Dappled willow is green not the beautiful white with green flecks that made me want it. I was told it just needed to be cut back in late winter/early spring. Obviously (to me) that didn't do it. How long should I let the growth get before pruning? How much of the new growth should I cut off? Thanks in advace for your advice.

Answer: The colors on your dappled willow will intensify in full sunshine and the standard nursery practice is to prune it back hard in early spring to encourage development of new shoots which are the most colorful. (Older foliage will fade to green.) So, to encourage the most colorful foliage, prune your dappled willow back in the spring, and prune out some of the oldest stems in early summer. This will prompt your plant to produce new shoots which should have the variegated hues. Best wishes with your garden!

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