Pussy Willow - Knowledgebase Question

Picton, ON
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Question by lyndat
August 13, 1998
The pussy willows are so abundant in the Spring of the year, and now the leaves are a deep beautiful green. When should we prune to keep it healthy and productive?

Answer from NGA
August 13, 1998
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.

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