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Plant Profile: Kilmarnock Willow (Salix caprea ‘Kilmarnock’)

Willow kilmarnock springThis dwarf pussy willow has year round interest with its beautiful weeping habit and fuzzy catkins. The male clone has the large (1½ to 2 inch) attractive catkins that appear silvery white at first and then appear golden yellow as the anthers develop later in spring before the leaves emerge. The foliage is dark green with gray-green underside in summer. The female clone is called ‘Weeping Sally’ and is not as showy as the male. The shoots of both clones are stiffly weeping and form a dense head. Pendulous branches are usually grafted on the erect stems of other willows so the height of the tree is determined by the height of the graft. Plants grown on their own roots form a 24” tall bush and grow along the ground. This is an ideal tree for a small garden, does well in containers, can be used for bonsai and branches can add a special touch to flower arrangements.

Type: Weeping deciduous tree.

Outstanding Feature: Weeping habit; catkins.

Form: Rounded mound.

Growth Rate: Moderate to rapid.

Bloom: Male catkins in spring, white at first becoming golden.

Size: 6’ T x 4 ½’ W.

Light: Full sun to dappled shade.

Soil: Moist, well drained; pH 4.5-8.

Fertilizer: Incorporate well rotted compost into the soil when planting.

Hardiness: Zones 4-8.

Care: Low maintenaince; remove broken, diseased, or crossing branches (and all shoots or branches from the central stem since they will not be weeping) in autumn or winter; since catkins are produced on young growth cut back heavily every 4-5 years.

Pests and Diseases: Susceptible to scale insects, rust, leaf spot, caterpillars and aphids.

Propagation: Grafted.

Comments: Tolerant of deer, pollution, rabbits, and seashore.

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