How to Shear a Willow Shrub


Virginia Willow shrubs, known botanically as Itea virginica, are semi-evergreen flowering and fruiting shrubs with an aggressive, spreading growth habit. They are hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9 and are native to the damp areas of the Southeastern United States, according to North Carolina State University. With their vigorous colonizing growth form, the shrubs can withstand severe shearing and pruning for shape and size.

Step 1

Remove any dead, damaged, broken or diseased-looking branches all the way down to the crown of the willow shrub plant with loppers. Sever the branch cleanly with loppers just above the crown and pull the problem branch from the canopy and discard.

Step 2

Hold the shears roughly parallel with the shrub and follow the form of the shrub for a professional and natural result.

Step 3

Shear down the perimeter volume of the shrub by cutting back the branch tips to the desired length with your shears.

Step 4

Remove up to one-third of the shrub foliage in any one, regular trimming session to limit the stress on the shrub. Remove more foliage in subsequent pruning sessions, if needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Long blade scissor shears
  • Loppers


  • North Carolina State University: Willow Shrub
Keywords: shearing willow shrubs, pruning Itea virginica, Virginia willow shrubs

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.