Q:

How do I prune a weeping willow tree?

A:

Prune a weeping willow by removing all dead and diseased foliage, cutting away damaged limbs, removing awkward branches, clipping off suckers and trimming the branch tips. You need a pair of pruning shears, bleach, water and a bucket.

  1. Remove dead and diseased foliage

    Use the pruning shears to cut away any dead and diseased limbs down to the branch collar, which is where the branch meets the trunk.

  2. Disinfect the shears

    After removing diseased branches, disinfect the shears to keep the disease from spreading to the healthy parts of the tree. Place 10 parts water and 1 part bleach in a bucket, and soak the shears in the solution for several minutes.

  3. Cut away damaged limbs

    Cut away damaged limbs below the damaged point.

  4. Remove awkward branches

    Remove any branches that rub or overlap other branches.

  5. Clip off suckers

    Clip off any suckers that grow from the base of the trunk. This keeps the suckers from siphoning off valuable nutrients and stressing the rest of the tree.

  6. Trim the branch tips

    Trim away the branch tips that brush the ground.

  7. Shape the tree

    Shape the rest of the foliage by thinning out the limbs closest to the trunk. Cut the limbs further away from the trunk to various lengths.

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