The best time to prune dwarf willow bushes for color is late winter. Cutting willows down to the ground, called coppicing, will stimulate new growth in spring, as long as willows have sufficient. These shrubs are often used in mass plantings or as a hedge. The same pruning technique can be used if they are planted as a specimen. For these plants, pruning should be done in the early spring, before they leaf out. Shear or prune the outer branch tips to shape and reduce the size of the plant.
Repeat this pruning technique throughout the summer, as needed. As the plant matures, renewal pruning will be.
Apr 21, Willow trees bleed sap if you prune them while they are actively growing, so the best time for willow tree pruning is in winter while the tree is dormant.
Make sure you have the right tools for the job before you begin. Prune back about 12" (not 12" to the ground) at anytime, except for late in the growing season (early spring before bud break would make the most sense). That will allow it to get fuller. I planted 3 of these and yes the first year they looked"spindly". By the 2nd / 3rd year they where growing like gangbusters.
Swampscott is dedicated to the protection, planting, and continued care of Swampscott’s trees. Trees enrich our Town in many ways: (1) they contribute to the health & well-being of the Town’s residents and wildlife; (2) they combat climate change by producing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide; (3) they provide cleaner air and shade; (4) they enhance the Town’s beauty and research has.
Trim the branches remaining on the willow, cutting each branch down to between 50 and 70 percent of its original length. The whole shrub can be trimmed down to a height of 12 inches if you like, but many Japanese willow owners like to leave some of the graceful.
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