Pruning Willows with SPD at Hedgehogs Nursery Glenrothes
Willows trees have a particularly watery sap in their bark which is heavily charged with salicylic acid – as you may know, this is commonly used in medicine for its ability to ease aches and pains and reduce fevers… white willow bark is the origin of aspirin in fact.
Willow trees have a soft, usually quite pliant but very tough wood and very long slender branches which droop and bend easily, giving rise the weeping willow name.
The roots of the willow are particularly remarkable for their toughness, their size, and their ability to thrive: roots will readily grow from parts of the plant which are actually nowhere near the soil.
Typically the leaves of the willow are elongated, but they may also be round or oval in shape; leave is the willow frequently have a serrated margin. Most species of willow are deciduous and semi-evergreen e.g. Salix micans and Salix australia in the eastern Mediterranean.
Willows are a dioecious plant. Male and female flowers usually appear as ‘catkins’; these are produced early in the spring, often before the leaves, or as the new leaves open.
Pruning Willow Trees
This is a simple procedure done by cutting all the top growth to the ground level in late winter.
Year 1 – in the spring plant the dormant willow in the soil, providing ample water throughout the growing season depending on conditions
Year 2 onwards – in late winter (early spring) prune all the stems (rods) back to the point from which they grew the previous year
Note: The growth that has been cut off can be placed in water to simulate the catkins, or it can e used for basketry, living willow structures, twig furniture, wattle fencing and more.
At scotplantsdirect.co.uk we sell lovely willows ideal for a UK garden.
Scot Plants Direct at Hedgehogs Nursery, Crompton Road, Southfield Industrial Estate, Glenrothes, Fife KY6 2SF