If a globe willow has lost its original shape, it should gradually be pruned back into shape over a few years to minimize the shock from pruning. To prune a globe willow properly, you need a bucket, denatured alcohol, water, a soft cloth, a handsaw and pruning shears. Prune in the early spring, when the tree's growth has just started.
- Sanitize your tools
Take your bucket, and add 3 cups of denatured alcohol and 1 cup of water. Dip your cloth in the solution, and thoroughly wring it out before using it to wipe off the shears and handsaw.
- Remove dead limbs
Remove all dead limbs from the tree. It is easy to identify dead branches because they have no new growth.
- Shape the tree
To shape the tree, first determine which branch is the central branch. Cut off any side branches that have sprouted off of the main branch. Make your cuts flush against the wood of the branch. Also, cut off any branches that cross each other.
- Promote new growth
To promote sprouting of new growth on the globe willow, take a 4-inch section off of the tips of all branches that have sprouted and are clearly living.