I have been wanting to rip out the Salix Integra “Hakoro Nishiki’ for a while now. In fact this fall, my plan was to take a chain saw to it. There would also be a lot of work removing its roots which was a daunting task. Each year, I cut the shrub back two to three times taking off about 4’feet each time. It had become a blob and was taking over it’s allotted space. In early June (see first photo) the leaves are very white and I find that jarring in relationship to rest of the garden. In mid July, the plant settles down & the leaves turn a speckled pale yellow- off white.
By removing the lower branches I have made the shrub less dense and I like being able to now see through to other areas of the garden. I can also let the plant grow much taller because it’s less dense. I think it has more character with the lower branches exposed and I don’t have to face all of that work of removing it- at least for now!