Trimming a Desert Willow


The desert willow is a deciduous, hardwood tree found in warm areas of the United States. The tree can grow between 15 and 30 feet in height with the same width. The desert willow branches do not hang like the weeping willow, instead pointing straight into the air. Desert willows produce a trumpet-shaped flower that is usually pink or dark burgundy in color. To prevent disease and aid in flower production, the desert willow requires pruning after the flowers have passed around Christmas time.

Step 1

Remove dead or broken branches and limbs from the desert willow to improve appearance.

Step 2

Cut away shooting branches that grow vertically from the main branch to encourage horizontal growth in the tree.

Step 3

Prune small branches that are strong 1/4 inch above buds to encourage new bud growth.

Step 4

Remove crossing branches, and prune excessive foliage from the canopy of the tree to allow sunlight into the trunk. Do not remove more than 30 percent of the canopy during the summer months if pruning is necessary, as this will burn the tree.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not prune in that late fall, as this forces new bud growth which will die during the winter. Cut during late winter to prepare the tree for spring growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Safety goggles
  • Work gloves
  • Ladder


  • Arid Zone Trees: Chilopsis linearis 'AZT™ Bi-Color', Desert Willow 'AZT™ Bi-Color'
  • US Department of Agriculture: Chilopsis linearis Desert-Willow
  • Laspilitas: How to Prune Native Plants (Without Killing Them).
Keywords: desert willow, desert willow care, desert willow trimming

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.