Q.Coral Embers Willow Struggling
I don’t want them as a shrub, I want them to grow as large as fast as possible. I bought them from a place locally here and they were about 3 to 4 feet tall. I’ve had it in the ground for about a year. Some of them have leaves out already – I have one that looks pretty bad there are leaves very very low but everything else higher up looks dead. Should I prune it? Is there anything else I should do special based on the fact that I want these to be very large trees?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
There is a bit of unfortunate news. After some digging, I found that these are not grown on their own rootstock, just as I had feared. I noticed that the new growth does not have that look as it should. The look will separate it from cousins in the same genus. The coral red growth is lacking!
This will indicate that the shrub has, likely, returned from the rootstock. I wouldn't know which yours was grafted to, but letting it grow out wouldn't hurt. It is, just, no longer the original tree that you have planted.
If you would like to turn it into a single trunk, you may do so. Choose the straightest one, since it will be the strongest and least likely to fail. Keep all growth pruned, except for that one leader. Eventually, it will focus all growth into that one leader.
Here is an article that will help you to understand graft failure:
This collection of articles will give you information on willows: