Posted: 24/03/2013 at 21:39
There was a large willow tree in the garden when we bought the house 17 years ago. It is even bigger now and I love and hate it.
I love that it only ever is bare for one month -January. I love the colour of the stems and watching the buds swell in early spring. I love the catkins and so do the blue tits. I appreciate the shade and the shape of the tree. Woodpeckers nested in it last summer which was a joy.
I hate constantly having to clear up after it like a toddler - even half an hour after cutting the grass it has a light covering of leaves. Twigs fall from the branches after any wind. I have collected bags and bags of long whippy twigs over the winter - uncompostable, they just slip through my shredder and have to be recycled by the council. Nothing will grow under it, not even weeds - despite me trimming the lower branches so the kids can play under it. It takes up half the gadren and shades the other half!
I am however hopeful that it is not long for this world as when the woodpeckers chipped out their hole for their nest, the wood chips were all spongy... I just hope that it falls in the right direction!