No catkins on my Kilmarnock Willow

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • Reply
    cathtcrtcathtcrt
    Greenhorn
    Private message

    Can anyone tell me why my Kilmarnock Willow does not produce any catkins. I prune out all the dead wood each spring and it gets plenty of green growth the rest of the year, so otherwise seems perfectly healthy. Thanks

    Reply
    cathtcrtcathtcrt
    Greenhorn
    Private message

    In my back garden, I have a Kilmarnock Willow. It has been there around 20 years. It appears to be very healthy, with good green growth every year. I prune out all the deadwood in the spring when the new shoots start to come and you can actually see what is dead. However, apart from the first 2 or 3 years, it has never produced catkins – in fact I had forgotten until recently that it ever did do this. Again, there is nothing new occurring in that part of the garden.

    Reply
    Nate from N&GNate from N&G
    Expert gardener (moderator)
    Private message

    Hi cathtcrt, seems your question has a few people stumped! From what I know, a willow needs lots of water. Also, depending on how your garden is set up, perhaps the willow has depleted the nutrients in its area.

    I would try to “change something” this time. It does happen that willows occasionally miss a blooming season, but when it happens every year, it means something is wrong. Even green growth doesn’t rule out some type of nutrient deficiency. Perhaps you can try the following:

    • first, make sure it has enough water. Water once a week if it doesn’t rain.
    • then, go for extra fertilizer. Try to not put one with too much nitrogen, relatively. Since it’s flush with leaves every year, that won’t be an issue. Flower-bearing, on the other hand, requires more P and K (phosphorus and potassium). And also trace elements like zinc and all. To get a great dose of these, try preparing fermented weed tea from whole plants with taproots, like dandelions or the like.
    • You can also just mulch with that kind of plant or weed.
    • I think you’re only pruning off dead wood – if nothing comes out this Spring, then try cutting back like half of the branches and twigs. Don’t cut back much, it’s more to jolt or stress the tree in a positive manner: it’ll feel it has to “pass on its genes” since the place it grows is “dangerous”…
    Reply
    cathtcrtcathtcrt
    Greenhorn
    Private message

    There is always quite a lot of dead wood each year, so maybe the ‘dangerous place’ theory is feasible. I must confess that I don’t feed it, but it does get plenty of water. I will try some fertiliser like you suggested. Many thanks.

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)