Trimming Your Own Weeping Willow Tree: A Guide

Posted on: 19 May 2020

Of all the trees, weeping willows may be the hardest to trim. They have long tendrils that sway in the wind and sweep over the ground. Their branches tend to grow upward, rather than out, which makes the tree hard to shape. If you have a tree company in your area that you can affordably hire to trim your willow, that is often your best approach. However, if you are stuck trimming your own weeping willow tree, you can do so by following this guide.

1. Remove tendrils that seem damaged or that touch the ground.

You can leave most of the tendrils on the willow tree alone. They give the tree its character and are important for the tree's health. If a tendril is damaged, such as if its bark is cracked, remove that tendril; it will probably die on its own if left alone. Also remove any dead tendrils. Those that touch the ground just a little are okay to leave, but trim away any that are sweeping across the ground extensively. If they become too wet, they could make the tree susceptible to a fungal infection.

2. Remove lower branches.

Trim away any branches growing from the first two or three feet of the trunk (if they are not already too large to remove). These branches, once they reach maturity, will develop tendrils that are too close to the ground. They'll also make it harder for you to access the branches further up the trunk. When you trim these branches away, leave about a 1-inch nub behind. This will keep the tree from losing too much sap.

3. Only remove larger branches if they are damaged or dead.

With the exception of the lower branches, only remove the tree's branches if they are damaged, dead, or showing signs of disease. Willow trees lose a lot of sap when they are pruned, so you want to avoid any cuts that would do more harm than good. When you do come across a branch you think needs to be removed, make sure your shears are very sharp and sanitized. A sharp cut will leak less sap, and sanitation helps prevent the many diseases that weeping willows are prone to.

If you follow the tips above, you should be able to do a good job of trimming your weeping willow tree. Above all else, only remove what you need to remove, and use good equipment! To learn more, contact a company that offers tree trimming services.