Pruning a Weeping Willow

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by dymndgyrl, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. dymndgyrl

    dymndgyrl Member

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    Hi, I have a small weeping willow tree, 8" dia. trunk which I pruned way back last winter. I left two thick branches at the top, but only about 2 ft. long. Now the tree looks great, healthy, doesn't throw much shade with it's "mop of hair". Just what I wanted!
    So my question is: What if any consequences will there be if I do this same radical pruning every year? Will the tree eventually loose vigor by expanding that much energy into all new growth every Spring?

    Thank for your advise.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If it starts to slow down cut less frequently. Note that weeping trees tend to be more graceful and impressive with long branches than short ones.
     
  3. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    investigate "pollarding" as a pruning technique. done properly it can be a long term management method.
     
  4. dymndgyrl

    dymndgyrl Member

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    I'm willing to forego impressive and graceful in favour of small and cute. The tree shades too many areas that I want some sunshine in: a small pond, a peach tree. It's also very close to buildings. I really like the tree at this size, so in essence, I want to stunt it's growth every year.

    As you can see, it had no trouble putting on growth this season! It was literally a trunk with two nubs at the top.

    I guess the trunk will get bigger and bigger, and maybe it will start to look just plain stupid as opposed to cute :). But really, it's either stay small or goodbye . . . So I'll try the radical pruning option and see what happens.

    Willow 003.jpg
     
  5. dymndgyrl

    dymndgyrl Member

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    Oh, thanks jimmyq, I was typing my post when you were, so I missed it.

    Pollarding is basically what I did, I guess but I didn't know what it was called, thanks for providing the term . I just googled a good site on it, so I'll read up on how the trees handle the technique.
     
  6. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    the first cut of pollarding is the easiest. every year after that it is important to make proper cuts to maintain the health of the tree as best as possible with a radical (and in my humble opinion, hideous) pruning technique. ;)
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Looks like it has plenty of horsepower, is probably a much bigger-growing kind than would normally fit in the space. You are getting fairly long branches but there is a definite Bad Hair Day/Phyllis Diller/Haystack look to it that would be the result of most of the branches being new, not having had time to become strongly pendulous. I'd consider having a tall post put in and training it up that, so that it can cascade from higher up, producing a more ornamental effect and also lifting it above the things beneath it you listed.
     

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