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Beginner Landscaping: pussywillow bush

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Forum: Beginner LandscapingReplies: 8, Views: 86
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soapwort243
South Milwaukee, WI

October 26, 2007
2:59 AM

Post #4124397

Here's my question--I planted a pussywillow right by my sub-pump drain because I knew it was a bush that liked to sit in the water. Well, it grew too large and was out of control. I cut it down to the ground last year and set a large rock over the top. It came back with a rengence and grew back, out of control.(with the rock in the middle) I never saw a plant grow that fast. It is super hard to break it's roots. Any suggestions.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

October 26, 2007
10:36 PM

Post #4126938

Most willows will just grow like Topsy if given the wet conditions they need, thankfully, not all willows need the amount of water your one likes, I would suggest that if you really do need to get rid of the bush, then try to use a brush killer or tree root killer or you may find the roots will travel and shrubs will pop up in other areas, I know it sounds corny, but try to always research trees and shrubs growing habits before you buy or it sometimes gets very dangerous to either structural or other things in a few years once they get growing, hope this can help you with your problem this year as the shrub will be going into it's dormant period and you will have to wait till next spring for the sap to start to rise before killers will work, good luck. WeeNel.
soapwort243
South Milwaukee, WI

October 26, 2007
11:02 PM

Post #4127017

You're right !! I am more careful with what I plant. I thought It would help drink up the water quicker, but didn't know it would get out of hand. I will clip it all down again and put the root killer on it when it begins sprouting up again in spring. Thanks for the advice. (I had to learn that one the hard way)
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

October 27, 2007
3:48 PM

Post #4128923

Your not alone about learning by mistakes, we all do that, but at least we do learn EH, I just wish there could be warning labels added to plants for folks who dont know that much about plants and trees, think some elderly folks who did what you did and then cant even begin to cut the tree/shrubs down, these trees/shrubs grown in the right place are so lovely and I remember as a kid, gathering all the catkins so my mum could put them in a jar of water as they catkins opened, the fluffy yellow paintbrushes were on show and we just marveled at this exciting time of year as we know spring was on it's way, hope you can get rid of yours OK as it will soon take over the whole area, you are right though, people do grow them to soak up some moisture from the soil, but too much and the results are what you have, dont get despondent though, there will be other plants you can use in that spot, just remember to check the growing habit BEFORE you end up behind a green forest he he he. Good Luck. Weenel.
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

October 27, 2007
6:20 PM

Post #4129290

Hello
I have a renegade PW also. It is not planted near water but on the corner of our raised deck ..situated in the planter that runs at ground level alongside the deck. Quite a dry area - I thought. It was just a cute thing when I put it there and I ONLY put it there because I wanted to harvest the young branches to make free rooting hormone. Cut into pieces and boiled...the liquid from the brew makes a wonderful treatment for the soil when rooting things. Well my little pussy willow grew big very fast and the roots grew under the deck (seeking the dampness and moisture no doubt) and now no way to pull it out. The main trunk(s) are huge. The tree now is about 11 feet tall. I can keep it trimmed back enough (it has been cut almost to the ground once and severely pruned every year) but the problem for me is that the june bugs LOVE the leaves and when I walk out on the deck the bugs are everywhere for a solid month or more. Guess we all have a pussy willow tale or two to be told. I think I will also try painting it with the root killer. Are you all talking about Brush B Gone? Thanks, Dorothy
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

October 29, 2007
4:00 AM

Post #4134364

HI Dorothy, There are several root killer, one called Root Out, Root be Gone, Tree and Stump killer, even more I am sure, but in your situation, I would be doing it as fast as possible as the roots from your willow will be trying to break your underground drains, if they get to that and most will, you have real big problems to try deal with as your sewage, water and any other drains will be burst open with the roots. the best way to find out how close to your property you can plant any trees or very large shrubs is, find out the final height the tree will reach in say 10 years and how far the top growth will fan out, that will tell you how far the roots will travel in 10 years, the willows will reach a huge root spread faster than any other tree just by the nature of the type of tree it is, they do grow best close to water which is why you often find them beside ponds in parks, but your is not beside water, therefore it is growing under the house to get where to roots find moisture through your drainage system, so be very, very careful about how long you leave it there, I know all this sounds frightening, but believe me, it can be if left unchecked, good luck. WeeNel.
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

October 29, 2007
5:26 PM

Post #4135871

Thank you WeeNel . It seems I have a monster just in time for All 'Hallows Eve... I will get the prep this weekend. I wonder since I have chopped it down so much each year..maybe the roots have sort of kept up with the top growth which has not been allowed to do more than the 11 feet tall and at best that wide. The deck is at least that far out from the house. From under that deck on the same day in the springtime, .. the snakes come out. Since I have realized this...I am reluctant (aka ...afraid) to go near there. Anyway, I will take care of it in the best way I know how... use the root killer and then send DH in there to pull it all out (smile) Again thank you for the information.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

October 30, 2007
4:44 PM

Post #4139687

Hi Dorothy, you are so right to take action with your willow, they really are beautiful trees, but to our cost, we soon learn that if we grow the wrong type and in the wrong place, boy do we give ourselves a worry a few years later, as for the root killers that you can use, IF you get the right kind of killer, you wont need to crawl under to get the roots out. what you would do is, cut the branches/trunks back to almost ground level, drill some holes into the stumps, as many as you can, and as deep into the stump as possible, then use say an old food funnel to pour the killer into the holes in each trunk, once you have got it all down the holes, poke it with a cane etc so that is is right down the bottom of your hole and top it up if needed, then cover the trunks with thick polythene, or other waterproof material so you keep rain AND light out of the holes, in time, the roots will take up this killer and the roots will just die within the ground, there they can be left if it is not a bit of ground that you can garden on like UNDER the house. by leaving a very small bit of trunk above ground, you will see if the killer is working because if it is not, then you will see new shoots start to grow from the stumps, if that happens, cut off these growing tips and try get some more killer into the trunks, by the way, this could take several years to kill off the roots as it could have a long way to get to the roots as they could be very long underground. but it is better than having to get the floors in your home lifted to repair drains. good luck. hope it works for you and you get peace of mind. best wishes. WeeNel.
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

October 30, 2007
6:23 PM

Post #4140027

Thank you. I will do it. And, while I am at it, I will treat a few of the stumps waiting for the grinder.

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