April 15, 2021 at 5:10 pm Reply
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. ThanksApril 25, 2021 at 6:52 pm Reply
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.April 26, 2021 at 9:50 am ReplyNate from N&GPrivate messageExpert gardener (moderator)
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:
April 26, 2021 at 3:27 pm Reply
- 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”…
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.
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