Pussy Willow Tree: Care And Growing Of Pussy Willows

0
159

Pussy Willow

Learn About The Pussy Willow Tree

The Pussy willow (Salix discolor) is a species of willow family and is native to vast regions of Canada, from B.C. to Newfoundland. It prefers the shoreline of lakes, rivers, and ponds, with plenty of soil moisture.

Pussy willows are dioecious, meaning there are male and female flowers that are distinct and borne on different plants.

The flowers are difficult to tell apart while young, but as the pussy willows mature, the pollen-bearing male flowers are relatively easy to distinguish from the seedbearing females.

The soft, fuzzy bud we refer to as a pussy willow is a young flower spike called a catkin.
It’s a cute name, but a pussy willow is soft and fuzzy like a kitten doesn’t mean it’s as harmless as one.

Pussy willows are part of the Salix family. They contain a salicylic acid chemical, a precursor to one of the most popular over-the-counter pain medications: acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), more commonly known as Aspirin.

The indigenous people of North America and early Eurasians discovered they could derive some pain relief from chewing on the bark.

However, as great as the analgesic benefits of salicylic acid are for humans, willows don’t manufacture the chemical for our benefit – – they use it to increase their resistance to infection.

Research is being done to see if salicylic could also be used as a natural pathogen fighter for a variety of crop plants.

Key Tips On Growing Pussy Willow Tree

How do you go about it if you want to grow pussy willows worthy of oohs and aahs? The first thing to understand is that there is nothing you can do in the spring to turn run-of-the-mill pussy willows into champions.

The previous year’s growing environment determines the size and number of catkins.

Consistently moist and rich soil is vital to growing the best quality and largest catkins, so pussy willows are perfect trees for low spots in large yards.

You’ll also want to choose your willow branches wisely. Look for those with the most significant number of plump buds.

If they aren’t heavy enough, sit them in a vase of warm water for a few days. It won’t guarantee success, but it might give you a slight edge.

Don’t forget that while the pussy willow is a beautiful species, many other willows are hardy here and just as intriguing.

The polar Bear (Salix silicola) comes to mind. It has many buds, but it also has furry, silver-white, and blue foliage.

So if you think you have the fortitude to try your hand at championship pussy willow competitions, by all means, give it a try.

At the very least, if your catkins aren’t as lovely as your neighbor’s, you can at least chew on a few branches to alleviate the pain of defeat.

How to Grow a Pussy Willow Tree

Learning how to grow pussy willows, one of the first trees to break bud in late winter or early spring, provides the garden with unique interest from the furry catkins, which are soon followed by whiteish yellow flowers when much of the landscape is still sleeping in dormancy.

When learning how to grow pussy willows, pay close attention to the location where it is planted for the best results.

So, where is the top place to plant a pussy willow tree? When deciding where and how to plant a pussy willow tree, keep in mind that they prefer consistent moisture and full to partial sun.

Plant it in a shady spot in your yard where the roots can spread. Growing a pussy willow tree can result in costly problems that can be avoided if the tree is planted near water lines, sewer lines, or septic tank fields.

Pussy willows have deep, spreading roots that can be invasive if planted in the wrong spot. Before planting, if you are unsure where the lines in your landscape run, contact the water or utility company.

They will often come out and mark the lines for you before you plant. The deep spreading roots of the pussy willow make it an excellent choice for soil retention and erosion control on a hill. This is possibly the pussy willow’s most crucial function.

Choose a pussy willow that will look good in the area when it matures. There are a variety of mature pussy willows sizes available for planting when growing a pussy willow tree. Don’t do extra work for yourself in the care of pussy willows by planting them in the wrong spot.

Pussy Willow Pruning and Care

Another aspect of caring for pussy willow is pruning it. If your existing specimen is too large for the space it grows, pussy willow care can include pollarding, which is a regular all-over pruning for size.

Pussy willow care should include regular renewal pruning, regardless of where it grows. Coppice, or severe renewal pruning, is frequently used as part of pussy willow care.

Because the branches of the pussy willow are somewhat weak, yearly pruning after the flowers have faded encourages new growth for the following year.

When growing a pussy willow tree, cutting branches for indoor display is an excellent use of catkins and flowers.

Place bud-laden branches in a tall vase in direct sunlight. You’ll be rewarded with indoor blooms before the outdoor tree blooms in many cases.

Pussy Willow Pruning and Care

Another aspect of caring for pussy willow is pruning it. If your existing specimen is too large for the space it grows, pussy willow care can include pollarding, which is a regular all-over pruning for size.

Pussy willow care should include regular renewal pruning, regardless of where it grows. Coppice, or severe renewal pruning, is frequently used as part of pussy willow care.

Because the branches of the pussy willow are somewhat weak, yearly pruning after the flowers have faded encourages new growth for the following year.

When growing a pussy willow tree, cutting branches for indoor display is an excellent use of catkins and flowers. Place bud-laden stems in a tall vase in direct sunlight.

You’ll be rewarded with indoor blooms before the outdoor tree blooms in many cases.

 

Previous articleBest Memory Foam Pillows For A Better Night’s Sleep In 2022
Next articleWatermelons: Everything You Should Know About Melons