Answer: Your pussy willow produces catkins on shoots that have grown the previous season (one-year old wood). To provide a good supply of flowering shoots, prune back the wood that has produced catkins, to encourage the development of new wood, from which more catkins will grow. You can remove the shoots by cutting all the way back to the main stem of the plant. To keep the shrub looking attractive, cut back some of the older stems as well, leaving only a few. It's more complicated to explain than it is to do! There's an excellent pictorial guide to pruning deciduous shrubs entitiled "Pruning", by Christopher Brickell. Published by Simon & Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. Your library or bookstore may have a copy - ISBN# 0-671-65841-7. Willows grow vigorously so keep yours in top shape with annual pruning.
Q&A Library Searching Tips