Monday, March 26, 2012

Weeping Pussy Willow: Feature Spring Flowering Tree

Salix caprea 'Pendula' (Weeping Pussy Willow)
Spring has arrived here in my zone 7 northeastern garden and one of my favorite spring blooming trees is Weeping Pussy Willow (Salix caprea 'Pendula').  In early spring Weeping Pussy Willow develops beautiful silvery-gray catkins that cover the tree and turn to bright yellow,  The display continues for several weeks until the tree develops its beautiful light green foliage. Salix caprea 'Pendula' possesses a strong cascading nature that can be allowed to weep all the way to the ground. It looks great next to a patio area or as a stand alone piece in any garden. Weeping Pussy Willow prefers a slightly acidic moist soil in full sun and is hardy in USDA zones 4-8.  Salix caprea 'Pendula' stays relatively small reaching a mature height of approximately 5-8 feet while spreading to a width of 4-5 feet. 

Salix caprea 'Pendula' (Weeping Pussy Willow) spring catkins



Salix tolerates pruning well and can also be maintained in a more manicured manner.  It is easy to maintain and gives enjoyment all season long.  Salix caprea 'Pendula' are often sold as grafted trees so they appear on a single trunk resembling an umbrella.  Salix caprea 'Pendula' is reasonably disease resistant.



Salix caprea 'Pendula' (Weeping Pussy Willow)



If you are looking for early spring interest in the landscape you cannot go wrong with this tree.  It will be sure to give you lovely springtime catkins, beautiful summer foliage and years of gardening enjoyment!













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As Always...Happy Gardening!

Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening Copyright 2012

8 comments:

  1. Such a lovely tree. I have had one for years and love it. It is a welcome sight in spring.

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  2. My weeping pussy willow did great until this year. Now most of the cascading branches are bare and new shoots are coming out of the base. It looks near death and horrible. I don't know if there is anything I can do to save it. Any suggestions? My email is kdales@sympatico.ca

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  3. My tree flowered vivid yellow catkins last year but, dull this year? How can I bring back the colour in them?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mark. Pussy Willows like manly full sun and it is also beneficial to prune them after flowering to promote healthy branches and catkins. Dull catkins could be a sign that the tree may be in need of a feeding. I deep root feed my tree in early spring with a phosphorus fertilizer to help promote blooms and the catkins do well. Hope this helps.

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  4. Is this classed as a tree or bush? also is it an evergreen! the pic showing the spring catkins indicates that it could drop its leaves then and could go bare, if so when do the leaves come back.
    I live In South Australia you could say we have a temperate climate (I have heard it referred to as Mediterranean)it is April now and this how they look now what can I expect from now if I plant them.
    Kind Regards Eric Gray

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    Replies
    1. It is a small weeping tree and is great for smaller spaces. It is deciduous and has foliage from May through November in my zone 7. It does lose its foliage in our winter; however, the cascading branches are attractive. I am not sure which zone you are in, but the tree does best in zones 4-8.

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  5. I have had a weeping pussy willow planted in my garden in western NY for 3 years, each year it has bloomed and grown beautifully...this year it got buds in the spring but only a few catkins actually bloomed...there is some new green growth off the trunk and where the graft is but the branches seem to be behind blooming...what could be the problem?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Staci. It is very hard to say without seeing the tree. It could be a number of things, including winter damage, insects or disease. Slightly scratch the branches with your fingernail. If there is green underneath, there is life in the tree. The fact that there is new growth coming from the trunk is a good sign. Perhaps have an arborist take a look at it.

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