willow tree growth

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by louiseh, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. louiseh

    louiseh Member

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    We recently cut down a willow tree (not a weeping willow but unsure of exactly what kind) and it's regrowing as a bush off of one side of the old stump. It was cut almost at ground level due to a rotting core. We would like to regrow it as a tree but are unsure of how to go about it (we live in Alberta and winter is coming). Do we cut off most of the suckers and just leave one? When is a good time to do that if we do? How do we stop the shoot(s) from being flattened by the heavy snow or do they pick back up in the spring? Thanks for any help. I know nothing about trees but really liked the huge one we had. Louise
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Leave it for now and see what happens. It may also sprout for a few years and then peter out if already mostly rotten. You can experiment with training it to a single stem later if it then looks like it really is getting a second wind.
     
  3. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi,

    ...not much snow here(!), so I cannot comment on how your tree will survive that.

    If the base survives, I think that how ever often you remove suckers, you will continue to get more growing up from the old base. I would suggest that you use one or more of the suckers as cuttings and start a completely new tree. Willows root really easily from cuttings just pushed into damp soil or just in water.

    Good Luck
    BrianO
     
  4. louiseh

    louiseh Member

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    Thank you for the idea of growing the shoots as a new tree (BrianO). I didn't realize they would grow that way. If I try to do that now ... before the heavy snow flattens them for the winter ... would the shoots be okay in my basement or upstairs in water for winter or in a pot of soil? Do they need to be in a cool dark room to go dormant or in a warm light room to survive if I cut them this month before winter? I'm sorry I know nothing about trees but I really loved the one we had and would like it back (or more of it's kind). I really appreciate all responses. Thank you!
     
  5. louiseh

    louiseh Member

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    Thank you for your help. I forgot to mention we tried to remove the (what we thought was dead) stump by drilling holes in it. We couldn't stump grind because it runs directly over our gas line. I'll post some pictures of it if I can figure out how to give an idea of where and how many. We also put root-rot in the holes once in the Spring but it hasn't seemed to do anything. Am not sure even how to remove it if we have to because the gas company said we are not allowed to use ANY power tools on it and freaked when I mentioned we had lit a fire on top to burn it out before thinking better of it (yup, our neighbors love us for our old country thinking)
     
  6. louiseh

    louiseh Member

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    This is the pictures of the stump and shoots we have. You can see it wasn't burned down deep and the holes we drilled are from the spring but I don't know if it can survive after doing this.
    DSCF3132.jpg DSCF3134.jpg



    DSCF3133.jpg DSCF3135.jpg
     
  7. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Louise,

    Hopefully someone who is familiar with your climate will reply. I really do not know about trees and snow! The last time it snowed at all here was over 70 years ago...and then apparently only just a dusting of snow that lasted just a few hours. In the two years I've lived in this house, the coldest ever was + 2'C (+36'F) for a couple of hours one night....very different from where you are!

    However, I will try with three suggestions for cuttings for you.

    1) wait until next spring to take them, hoping your old tree survives the winter - willows are really tough and difficult to kill - as you have discovered!

    2) take one or more cuttings and plant them in pots and keep them indoors in a bright window. With any luck you will have one or more mini-trees by the Spring. You could start the cuttings directly in soil or put them first in water and wait until new roots have formed and then plant into soil. They can produce new roots in just a few weeks.

    3) Take quite a few cuttings (say ten), tie them together in a bundle and plant them like this into the garden, firming the soil around them well and keeping them moist for the first few weeks. The cuttings will tend to support each other, but you could make sure by tying the bundle to a stake. By Spring, with luck, several will start to sprout. When they are well leaved out, dig them up, tease the roots apart (best done in a bucket of water), choose the best one as your new tree and give the others to your friends!

    BTW, willows suck up a lot of water and you do not want a very large one near your house as it may affect the foundations or drains. If kept pruned there is no problem.

    I love the idea of you setting fire to the old stump and then blowing up the gas main.... a spectacular way of getting rid of an old tree. If you ever decide to do it please post some photos of the event here!!

    Good Luck (Boa Sorte)
    BrianO
     
  8. louiseh

    louiseh Member

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    Brian, thanks for the great suggestions on how to start the shoots. Would love to send some great pics on a REAL way to remove a stump (IE, blow it out of it's hole) but I'm afraid I got a pretty good talking to from the gas company and am on my best behaviour ..... for now. Thanks again. Louise
     
  9. kmisschuck

    kmisschuck Member

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    I have a similar problem. I live in Denver and planted a young weeping willow. A big snow last year killed the top part of tree so I trimmed it back (the leader I'm guessing). Now I have sort of an odd looking short spike of a tree with a leafy branch growing off the base. Looks a bit like your stump but skinnier. Should I trim the whole top of tree back to the branch and then wait to see if a new leader shoots from the top this spring. Winter is coming here soon so I probably wont see any new growth this season. Thanks for any help, I'm at a loss and wondering if I should dig it up.
     

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