Striking Stems

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Spring Flowers Beneath Dogwoods and WillowsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited Many dogwood and willow varieties have brightly colored stems that are a boon in the winter garden. The young growth is the most impressive, so prune hard to encourage bright new shoots. Plant spring-flowering bulbs beneath your dogwoods and willows to give an extra splash of color.

Materials Needed:

  • willow plant
  • clippers
  • pruning shears or saw
  • all-purpose granular fertilizer

Willow Wands

Willows (Salix) look great grown as pollards. Let a single stem grow to about 5 ft (1.5 m) tall, and prune so ?that new growth develops at the top, creating a head of colorful young stems.

When to Start: Late winter or early spring
At Their Best: Winter
Time to Complete: 1 hour

Remove Weak Growth

When the leaves fall in autumn, neaten the plant by pruning out weak and damaged stems, and remove any shoots from the main trunk.

Pruning WillowsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Prune to One or Two Buds

Before new growth appears in spring, use clippers to cut back every stem to one or two buds. Use a pruning saw to remove larger material.

Prune Willow StemsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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