I have three of these willows I planted last summer. They are budding now, late March. Should I remove all dry leaves and mulch from last year...left around trees to protect during winter...and add compost and new mulch? Soil was thoroughly amended at planting. If composting, should I leave compost on top of soil to avoid damaging willow roots that are shallow and far-reaching? I have been composting kitchen scraps in this area for several years, but there is still plenty of clay.
How to Compost Dappled Willow Tree (Hakuro-Nishiki)
As long as you used organic mulch, leaving it on the ground allows it to continue to decompose and add to the fertility of your soil. You would only need to pick it up if your trees had disease or pest problems that you wanted to control. Just put fresh mulch on top of the old -- the more the merrier. Here