Weeping Pussywillow Has Few Catkins

Question From: L. Esterly - Breckenridge, Michigan, United States
Q: I am very sad. I bought a weeping pussywillow about 5 years ago. It looks healthy and last summer, as usual, it was growing well. I got tons of leaves, but no catkins. In the past years I got catkins with no problem. But last year....none. I have been waiting for my catkins to come out this spring and only two came out on the whole tree. I just don't anticipate any pussywillows this year again. I haven't fussed with the tree. It looks healthy and I do not fertilize it. Do you have any ideas. Having a pussywillow tree without pussywillows is like a day without sunshine.

A: Lack of water or sun will do it, but if that is not a problem, it probably needs pruning, which is best done when the catkins go to seed, but before the tree leafs out. Yours is a grafted tree so you should have a knobby growth at the top of the trunk where the branches emerge. Do not cut into that knobby growth when pruning. Google " how to prune a grafted willow tree" to find how to find how- to videos. Use well sharpened pruners and loppers. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy