pruning a weeping pussy willow

normsgrlFebruary 26, 2008

Hi,

I bought home a weeping pussy willow from the super market. The directions that came with it say's to cut back up to 2 inches after flowering. It still hasn't stopped flowering and in many other places on the branches are growing green sprouts!!

What happens if I don't cut it back like the directions say?

And If I do have to cut back, when should I do this? It is still flowering at the same time as these green shoots are growing out of the branches.

Is it too late?

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Lisa

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Dibbit(z7b SC)

I would wait until all the catkins have opened and gone, even if it has started to grow leaves. If it's like the ones that were for sale here, they are grafted to be pretty short "trees", between 18" and 36" tall. Because the grafted top is probably very vigorous, you can cut all the stems back to 2" from where they begin to grow from the thickened area of the trunk, and they will be as long or longer than they were, when you bought the tree, by the end of summer. Keep the pot well watered but not soggy and in bright light, not too warm, and it should do fine.

This CAN go in the ground in the spring - I would still keep it inside, in a cool, brightly lit spot, until the danger of late frosts was over - and then gradually acclimate it to the temperatures and sun of outdoors, putting it out a hour or so longer each day, over about a week. If you work, and can't do that, then put it out in a shady spot, and gradually move it more into the sun over a week. You can then plant it - and the pussies will be back in the spring, if not as soon as when you bought it.

Keeping it as an indoor plant over the summer and trying for early pussies probably won't work - it was "forced"/grown in a green-house with careful attention to light levels and temperature, which is very difficult to duplicate in your house.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 5:31PM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

One additional thought - since we have no way to know where in the USA you are located - if it is in the more southerly areas, put the pussy willow out as soon as you can, acclimating it to the outdoors as above. While they are sold, as in your case, as indoor decoration, they are NOT houseplants, and will do poorly as such - rather along the lines of buying poinsettias at Christmas - enjoy them and then toss them when they die. A few frosts won't hurt it once it's acclimated - my pussies growing outside have gone through 20F and several lighter freezes in the past few days, and are doing just fine.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 10:32AM
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vavova

I'm in Cambridge, Mass. I received a weeping pussy willow tree as a gift. I live in an apartment, so I can't plant it outside. I do, however, have a large sunny porch I can put it out on. Will the tree do ok if I plant it in a large container and leave it outside? Or does it need to get into the ground in order to survive?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 6:51PM
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alana_canfield_gmail_com

I also bought a weeping pussy willow tree like the one you described. Do you really cut all the branches to within 2" of the trunk or do you just trim the branches 2"? Mine has started growing green leaves vertically skywards, and I haven't yet cut the branches back because I am not sure how much to cut. If I cut to within 2" of the trunk, I would be cutting at least 10". Does that sound right? Also, is there a "right" way to cut them?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 12:22AM
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marshdweller

Hi...
I received a weeping pussy willow as a gift this past spring (one of those trees of enchantments) and for a few months it was doing great...I kept it in the pot because I live in a dorm and have no yard, but over the summer it slowed down, and stopped. I repotted it, thinking it needed more room for its roots, (in a slightly bigger pot) but it didn't do anything...it got sunlight all summer long, and I kept it watered, although it stopped drinking so much as it needed in the spring. Now it's fall and I have it in the sunniest spot in my room, where it gets sun for about half the day, but it has only gotten worse. (it got less sun than that in the spring and did great). The leaves are yellowing and curling in on themselves and falling off, and the edges look slightly burnt with a few brown spots on them. It's gotten especially bad in the past few days. It's getting closer to winter and I'm worried it might not last...planting it in a yard is not an option for me, but I suppose I could give it away. I have no idea what to do to keep it alive. Help please?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 10:00AM
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