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Author Topic: Willow planting  (Read 674 times)

Mcgorney

  • Joined Jun 2020
Willow planting
« on: June 05, 2020, 09:45:12 am »
Hello . I am looking for some advice about planting a willow hedge for screening , it’s tone planted in mixed woodland and the ground is wet , near a burn , and full of the usual weeds and grasses  . The screen would be about 15 metres long . How many would I need ? Is there a lot of prep required and can you just pop them in and forget ? (wishful thinking )

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Willow planting
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2020, 03:05:56 pm »
You need to protect it from voles/mice/rabbits and deer, but otherwise it doesn't need much extra care, provided the ground is damp (though not waterlogged).

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some like to think it's in England.
Re: Willow planting
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2020, 03:28:31 pm »
  :) :)  Forgive me for smiling @Mcgorney, but I cannot but wonder at your need for a willow screen in mixed woodland !  However ...

Firstly, they like a bit of sunlight (willow is an edge-of-woodland or open scrub or waterways plant after-all).  For a screening planting in woodland, I would have thought hazel might be a better bet (coppiced in due course).

 
Anke is right about foraging mammals, big and small, but, actually, willows also tend to struggle against other dense weed growth and will not show their fast growth potential (even in good sun-lit areas) unless any weedy planting area is managed early on.
 
How many?  As many cuttings as you want or can glean: you can always thin them out.  A couple of staggered rows will likely be a good arrangement. 
 
But then:  firstly, they like a bit of …...

 
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 05:06:35 pm by arobwk »

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Willow planting
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2020, 06:18:54 pm »
If you know someone with willow, and can scrounge some stems, you could even put some in now.
You could either just stick the stems into the ground, they usually root, esp if ground is wet. Put cardboard round them to keep the weeds down, with manure on top to hold it down and feed the plants as cardboard rots.
Or take a shallow trench out to get rid of majority of weed growth, (easier with a mattock) lay the stems horizontal, peg down or use some of the removed trench material upside down to hold it down, it should root and shoot along tne stem

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some like to think it's in England.
Re: Willow planting
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2020, 07:03:45 pm »
Actually Phb's suggestion about laying cuttings in horizontally is not a bad idea:  I haven't actually tried this deliberately, but it should work.
Planting any willow cuttings this late int' year is at risk, but if your soil stays damp it could be OK -assuming there is, as mentioned before, good sunlight to the planting area.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 07:44:58 pm by arobwk »

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
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Re: Willow planting
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2020, 08:44:55 pm »
They will grow despite whatever you do.  and grow and grow.  :innocent: d#  Decide what height you want them  to be and cut back when the middle trunk gets just below that height.  You will have loads of branches coming off those that you can then plant. And don't believe the weed free stuff.  I planted 8 willow sticks - one foot long, in grass, at the edge of a burn, and in a year they were 5 feet tall and thick. They covered about 60 feet so I had taken a few sticks of the first ones and stuck them in between.

I moved house about 9 months ago and thank goodness I did because I would never have managed to control them on my own.  The new owners have three strpping teenagers who are now cutting them back, as well as the ones that have sprung up where the cuttings were dropped l;ast autumn.

The only advantages of willow are that they do suck up excess water and they do make good burning
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some like to think it's in England.
Re: Willow planting
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2020, 02:33:34 pm »
Very moist ground might haven given doganjo's willow cuttings an advantage, but, generally, do believe that starter cuttings do not compete well with dense weeds.


Forgot to mention that cuttings from the ubiquitous Goat Willow are said to be less willing to root than other types:  never tried planting cuttings of Goat Willow myself so I cannot say whether true or not.







 






doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Willow planting
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2020, 03:25:55 pm »
Maybe,  but it was planted in summer so wasn't particularly damp, and definitely not boggy.  And I gave loads of it away - to folks on here and other friends who had varying types of ground and most of it grew from the reports i got back - I think it may have been white willow?
This is what it looked like
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Mcgorney

  • Joined Jun 2020
Re: Willow planting
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2020, 01:07:42 pm »
Thanks for all the responses , really helpful , any idea what’s the best variety and where to source . Cheers

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some like to think it's in England.
Re: Willow planting
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2020, 03:48:20 pm »
Most of the usual sellers will have cropped all of their willows well before now and, I suspect, likely to only have new very soft young growth:  might be OK for pot propagation perhaps (for replant idc into a dug planting hole) if they are prepared to sell semi-soft cuttings to you.


I'm not selling even an inch of a cutting as all my growth is ear-marked for a large expansion of plantings over some acres late this year. 
Best bets are  a) a TAS member with stuff they are pruning-out to, for example, keep their driveway clear or whatever, or b) road-side plantings on village by-passes/road-widening schemes etc.

Varieties?  In an established woodland setting I wouldn't wish to commit to any recommend.  As a guess though, I would say go for branching varieties like, perhaps, Grey willow - just a single example - rather than the varieties used for weaving e.g. the "traditional" osier willow. 


[I was checking number of recognised willow species (not varieties) & apparently there are 300 or 400 recognised species across the globe (depending on who is reporting).  Wow! ]



« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 10:43:09 pm by arobwk »

 

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