Dogwoods (Cornus), Willows (Salix) give the best winter colour on young stems so an annual (or less for some such as Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire) coppice or pollard is recommended.
Late February through March, just as the buds are beginning to swell, before the plants stored reserves have been expended on growth that will be cut out, prune hard to the required height:
- Coppicing for Dogwoods, around 5cm above ground just above a pair of buds. Height is determined by position in border, effect wanted.
- Pollarding for Willows, height determined by effect required: the coloured stems of Salix alba ‘Bristoliensis’ for example are often pollarded to a short main stem 2-4 ft high. Again the decision is yours!