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Giant pussy willow - how far from water lines?

Posted by vvesper 7TN (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 16, 10 at 12:58

Ok - as someone with a septic system, I would normally not get any plants in the willow family. But I think I'm in love! A friend of mine has a giant pussy willow (giant referring to the huge catkins, though the shrub itself is good-sized, too). I MUST have one!!! It's for my 8-year-old, really... ;- ))))

So. How far away do I need to site this thing from my septic and water lines? I've googled and found that there are varying recommendations on willows - from twice the drip line to 100 feet. However, that seems to be primarily for larger trees, especially weeping willows. What do you all think for a pussy willow shrub? I intend to keep it pruned somewhat, if only to be able to reach to cut branches to bring inside in early spring. Will that affect the size of the root mass? Or not so much?

I have a fair-sized lot, so I could probably put it 50-75 feet from the water and septic without any problem. Do you think that would be far enough? Also, are these roots a problem for foundations, or just water pipes and drain fields and so forth?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Giant pussy willow - how far from water lines?

what is the soil otherwise... and how wet ...

if you can put it 50 feet away ... it might be 100 years before it 'finds' the septic ...

if you have 6 inches of clay on top of bedrock.. the plants might search very hard to find better conditions.. like a septic field ...

so info regarding soil type might help ...

PW roots rather freely .... so every 5 years.. root some up.. and kill the big plant.. to keep it from becoming some behemoth ...

you are in great shape with your lot size ... IMHO.. just plant it as far away as possible.. and dont worry about it ...


RE: Giant pussy willow - how far from water lines?

Soil is red clay. I have never dug down beyond the clay; I think it runs pretty deep based on what I've seen with house construction nearby. Dries out on top, of course, if not mulched. Other than that, I think it stays somewhat moist (and I mulch all my beds and plants). Seems to have good nutrient content, based on plant life supported. pH of around 6.5 or so. Would plant in full sun, of course.

RE: Giant pussy willow - how far from water lines?

no shrub is going to run roots 50 feet ... just plant it far away.. and dont worry about it..

and dont call me in 25 years if you have a problem.. lol

if you were wondering about a 300 foot sequoia .. then 50 feet would be an issue...

if a tree is twice as big below as above [so the sequoia might have roots 600 feet away, i suppose] ... and we simply call your shrub a small tree .... and if the PW can get 15 feet high ... [had one at mom and dads get a little carried away] .... then i doubt it is going to get 50 feet of roots .. besides the fact that shrubs just arent going to have that aggressive a root system that far from the trunk ...

just logic for me.. i am sure the science geeks will add more ......


RE: Giant pussy willow - how far from water lines?

Pussy willow grows really easily from cuttings. Your eight year old might be interested in growing his/her own shrub if your friend would give you some cuttings.

RE: Giant pussy willow - how far from water lines?

Yes, the shrub willows do not create the same extensive and far reaching root issues as do the tree forms. Sounds like you have plenty of room for this plant :-)

RE: Giant pussy willow - how far from water lines?

Cool! That gives me a little more flexibiltiy in placement then.

Yes, we are at present trying to root a cutting. I am more enthralled with the catkins than my daughter, but she likes them, too, LOL! I have only one cutting at present, as there were a group of us who each wanted one of the branches my friend brought. BUT - if this one doesn't root in a couple of weeks, she will give me a few more to try. Willow is supposed to root very easily, so I'm hoping the one will do it.

Thanks for all your input!

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