Weeping Willow: Seeking Pruning Tips


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Hello, all!
I have a 2 year old weeping willow that is about to shed it's leaves for winter. When it goes dormant, I need to give it a good prune. I am having a surprisingly hard time finding information on properly pruning these trees. They grow so differently compared to other trees. I am interested for ANY tips you can give me.
I believe that due to trimming the tree off the ground and ignoring the upper branches, the tree has become heavily loaded on the bottom. Should I trim the upper branches so they split and fill out? Should I trim off all vertical branching? Thank you in advance!
(I plan on cutting off a lot of the lower branches to establish more of a trunk and promote upward growth... am I on the right track?)

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If it produces catkins then pruning now will remove them. Pruning is normally done just after the flowers(the catkins) have finished as these trees produce their flowers on wood grown in Summer.
Removing any branches will lead to the development of more from where the branches are cut. Willows are very good at that. If you want a clear trunk below the weeping branches then you would need to remove them right back to the point of origin. I would leave the higher branches alone until you have established the trunk as you want it.
 
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Thank you so much for the tips. I just read this morning to focus pruning on lower branches and leave upper branches alone for a while on young willows as you suggested. Will do. Thanks again.
 
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When pruning weeping willow it is important to try and maintain the shape and cuts should be made back to buds or leaf joints to avoid leaving ugly little stumps. If you have to cut large branches off willows do not paint them with arboricultural cut sealants. If you have to keep pruning your willow are you sure you've planted the right sort of tree. Maybe something less vigorous.
 
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Excellent advice re willows Robert.
Most are not really typical garden worthy plants because of their vigour.
However, annual pruning ....yes on lowest branches....is essential to provide that "skirt" ....otherwise it will simply become a solid shrub/tree. :)
 
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Yes absolutely right about the trimming back of the lower canopy, but much too vigorous a tree for your average plot and should never be planted close to dwellings roots can play havoc with drains. A beautiful tree if planted in the right place.
 

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