The Q&A Archives: blue arctic willow

Question: We have had this shrub in for 3 years the last 2 springs the whole top seems to die off and comes back around the ground only. Is this normal and should I just prune it back every spring and let it come back to its 4-5 foot size?

Answer: Blue Arctic willow is hardy to zone 4 (-30 to -20) so it may be only marginally hardy in your garden. The top shouldn't die all the way to the ground, but it sounds like that's what's happening. You might plant it in a more protected place (from ice and winter winds), or plant something along side to help buffer winter storms. Otherwise, I'd just prune the dead stems out each spring to make room for new growth. Best wishes with your garden.

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