About Pussy Willows

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Pussy willows are trees commonly found in wetlands, but can grow well if cared for properly in backyards.
Pussy willows are trees commonly found in wetlands, but can grow well if cared for properly in backyards. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Pussy willows — also known by their technical name Salix discolor — are willow trees commonly found in wet growth environments. They are native to the Canadian wetlands and the eastern United States, although they have the ability to thrive in most environments if given plenty of water.

Facts

The average height range for pussy willows is between 20 and 35 feet, with the tree having a total spread between one-quarter and one-third of its height. The tree will grow 4 to 6 feet each year, reaching maturity in about 5 years.

Features

Pussy willows have both male and female sex trees. The pussies — call catkins — typically bloom in early spring (February-March), with the pussies turning into flowers by April. Catkins on the male tree are different than those on the female tree, and are typically better looking.

Considerations

While pussy willow trees do not take too much space to grow, their roots are invasive. They can ruin septic tanks and water lines. Heavy pruning is necessary to keep pussy willows strong, healthy and looking clean. Full sun is preferable when planting, although the trees can handle partial shade.

References

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