Dappled Dwarf Willow Tree...anyone have any thoughts?

tresbelle3May 11, 2005

I saw a little one on sale at Hewitts and I like it b/c it says that it stays little. It looks like a lot of other trees so I'm not sure if it is common around here or not. Has anyone had one of these and are they desease resistant? It also said it is hardy. Thanks for any thoughts.

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Hard to tell from that description, maybe you can describe it a little more. However, please check and see if you think it might be Salix integra 'Hakuro-nishiki'. That's a very common one at present. It can get about 8 ft tall, however it can be kept at about 3-4 ft, which is actually good to maintain the variegation. If that's not it, please give more of a description, and I might be able to help. Polly

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 7:01PM
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Yes, that's it. Would you recommend it in a North facing garden w/sun for 1/2 the day? Also to keep at 3-4 feet do you just keep trimming the round shape down every spring? I'm putting steps in a curved hill and in the round inner circle of the curve I'm thinking of a perennial garden w/ a special small tree in there as a focal point. Do you think that's a good idea?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 11:40AM
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Sun 1/2 day should be fine. You are right, just trim it in the spring. This willow, as any other, needs a lot of water. I think it would make a very good focal point for a perennial garden, just keep in mind it needs to be watered a lot, so you will need perennials that can take a lot of water. We have had no disease problems, whatsoever, but its leaves can turn brown really fast if it dries out, however its quick to resprout. I think its a great shrub. Enjoy. Polly

    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 6:59PM
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millerjoe49(z5 WI)

I planted this tree in my backyard in the spring. The tree gets a full day of sun and is doing very, very well. The question I have is that the branches seem to be growing at an incredible rate and growing faster than the trunk can handle. We had a good rain and wind storm last night and the tree was swaying to the point I thought the trunk would break. If the branches had been trimmed back a bit, I think it would have been able to handle it better than it did. I've read two different thoughts on trimming this tree. One was that you could trim it back multiple times during the year to promote new growth with color. The other idea was that you should only trim it back in the spring so you minimize the stress on the tree and so you can enjoy the color of the branches throughout the winter. Any thoughts on this? Also, when I trim it back how should I trim it? Should I give it an umbrella look (trim the low hanging branches), or trim into a globe shape, etc? I know its ultimately up to me, but I don't want to trim it and have it look like c%@p. Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 9:47AM
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jeanghair(Z8 NC)

hate to sound dumb but do you just trim the limbs or do you cut any on the trunk when you prune

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 8:57PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

This is a very tough plant, it is, after all, a WILLOW.

If you want a shorter plant, cut the trunk to the height desired. If you want want it taller, leave the trunk alone. You only need to prune if you have dead branches, want to force new coloration, or want a different shape. It doesn't have to be pruned.

BTW - they are very very easy to root. I just stick fresh cut branches in the ground in the spring and they root.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 1:47PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Speaking of willows, has anyone tried growing a Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis). It isn't really a member of the willow family but actually in the Trumpet creeper family.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 8:39AM
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Since planting our dappled willow it began shedding the leaves and looked as if it was going to die. We have finally "mastered" the problem. My question now is it has twigs growing from the base of the tree and also on the sides of the tree. When and how can I cut these off and can they be planted in a pot and grow? Also, we were told to water the tree twice a week. Anyone with any solutions?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 12:42PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

You can cut off branches at any time. They will root if they are kept in moist ground. Water twice a week for the first month to get established, then once a week for the rest of the summer. It shouldn't need any extra water next year.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 5:34PM
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How do you sart a dappled willow tree, not a shrub and how many yrs would it take for it to get 8-9 feet

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 8:51PM
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The dappled willow tree (Hakuro nishiki) IS a shrub that has been restricted to one stem/trunk. You will need to cut any branches and remove any buds that sprout along the stem. It takes about 2 to 3 years for it to firmly establish its root system, and then you can do whatever you like to it, including chain sawing it to the ground when dormant and starting all over as a shrub or tree. I have heard of folks grafting this willow like they do with the weeping goat willows, but don't see why it might be necessary.

If the top gets too heavy for the stem, you might want to stake the stem to support it, and/or keep the top trimmed up so it isn't too heavy. I have a dragons claw willow I use as a morning glory trellis, and this year with all the rain, the weight of the top bent it over in an arch, so I gave it a good haircut.

Figure 3 years for 8 to 9 ft height.

As with all willows, remember the root system goes deep and seeks water, so keep it far away from septic systems, water lines etc.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 11:11AM
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There appears to be some confusion here. The dappled willow is normally a weak-wooded (yet vigorous) bush. However, this sort of bush can be top-grafted onto a standard (standard=trunk) of some stronger sort of willow to make a TREE FORM willow. If it is "tree form" it is 99% certain to have been grafted--check where the "bushy" part meets the trunk to be certain.

Because the tree form is grafted, any growth from the trunk of a tree-form dappled willow will not be the same kind of willow as the top growth, and therefore, should be (must be) cut off.

The pruning of a standard (grafted) dappled willow tree involves cutting the TOP BRANCHES (the grafted-on part) back by 1/3 or even 1/2 every spring, and removing unsightly sprigs at any time. If you saw the graft off the trunk, you will get either a dead trunk OR the trunk will sprout into whatever kind of willow was used for the trunk.

As to the height of the dappled willow TREE FORM, once the graft has been put onto the new trunk, the trunk grows very slowly--for all intents and purposes, the height you buy is pretty much the height it will stay, except that the top bushy part will get to be a bigger and bigger tuft every year.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 10:57AM
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