To trim a willow tree, you will need pruning shears, a bucket, a pruning saw, bleach, a ladder, water, a rake and a wheelbarrow. The branches of a willow tree can break easily if not trimmed. Additionally, trimming help to preserve the tree's health.
Remove dead branches
Trim the willow tree in the winter to help growth. Remove dead and diseased branches. Cut at the wide portion of wood that meets the trunk. Cut away lower branches, using a ladder if needed to reach them.
Wash all equipment used to cut off diseased branches. This prevents you from spreading the disease to other parts of the tree. Wash equipment in a bucket containing 1 part bleach and 10 parts water.
Trim storm-damaged limbs
Use a pruning saw to remove storm-damaged limbs. Remove the branch just below the break. New growth rises from the cut. Remove all but the strongest branches of new growth. Remove growth from the base of the tree.
Trim low-hanging limbs
To create access underneath the tree, trim low-hanging limbs with pruning shears. The branches grow back quickly in the summer, making multiple trimmings necessary.
Rake up the trimmings, load them into a wheelbarrow and dispose of them, as trimmings left on the ground can kill the grass underneath.