Willow – Pruning Care

Q: I have a pussy willow that has been in the ground for nine years. I have just removed the best canes with catkins for interior decorating and would like to take this thing down to bush size. Am I going to kill it?

A: I’m impressed that your pussy willow is so old. Most die from twig blight, leaf spot, aphids or leaf beetles after only a few years here. That said, if a pussy willow is happy, pruning won’t kill it. Remove limbs back to the trunk or to a side branch and enjoy the catkins each year.