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Author Topic: Willow cuttings - advice needed  (Read 3165 times)

sellickbhoy

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Muiravonside, near Linlithgow
Willow cuttings - advice needed
« on: January 15, 2013, 09:21:05 am »
Morning all


wonder if you can help me with some willow questions


3 years ago I bought and planted about 200 willow cuttings, they have all come through grand and are about 20 feet tall now. They were planted to help with the drainage in part of my garden - and they do a great job in the summer hoovering up the excess rain water.


So much so, I plan to plant some more in another area of the garden


But, how do i take cuttings? I've had 2 sets of conflicting advice


1. Cut the main "trunk" down, cut it into small lengths and plant


or


2. Cut the smaller "branches" that have grown out of the trunk and cut them down


i'm hoping it's option 2, as i want to keep the trees tall and thin - rather than cutting the trunk and thus causing them to grow out the way and more bush like.


Help appreciated as i'd like to try and get it cut and planted in the next few weeks whilst the weather is not too bad and the ground not frozen solid.


cheers
chris
Voss Electric Fence

Hermit

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Willow cuttings - advice needed
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 10:55:42 am »
Hi, I take many willow cuttings every spring as I make more windbreaks for my softer trees. i just cut branches off the main trunk that wont get missed visually , but my mains ones are around 8 yrs old now. I have some 'tree' willows that I leave tall and just take damaged or rubbing branches from and have 'bushy' willows that I prune hard as they tend to die back a lot if you just leave them.
I find about a cm thickness at least for just shoving in the ground where you want them to grow type cuttings works well. I find in Spring just when the sap is rising and they are coming into life again is the best time to cut , they form little trees in no time. I never cut anything as big as the trunk or they just rot.( In my peaty soil anyway)
Willows are so easy to grow from cuttings but be careful on your very wet ground as they can rock in the wet and go over if they get too high.

sellickbhoy

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Muiravonside, near Linlithgow
Re: Willow cuttings - advice needed
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2013, 11:00:38 am »
Thanks Hermit


OK, that clears things up a lot!


I'll leave it until later in feb/early march before cutting then and will just take the "branches"


I do actually plan to cut the trunks back in a few years - and use teh nice straight poles for a fencing project, but want them to get a little thicker 1st




nel

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Willow cuttings - advice needed
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 11:30:52 am »
3 years ago I bought and planted about 200 willow cuttings, they have all come through grand and are about 20 feet tall now. They were planted to help with the drainage in part of my garden - and they do a great job in the summer hoovering up the excess rain water.


What is the average diameter size of the trees now?

sellickbhoy

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Muiravonside, near Linlithgow
Re: Willow cuttings - advice needed
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 11:35:16 am »
hmmm, good question


until i've gone home and whipped out the tape measure, here is an unscientific answer


I have quite small hands and i can't quite get my hand fully closed around the trunk at about  4 feet from the ground


if i was to cut them down and chop them into logs, they would go straight onto the fire without being split!


I'd say they are a bit wee yet to use as my fence posts




Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Willow cuttings - advice needed
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 12:33:55 pm »
We used willow poles as uprights for a stretch of laid hedge.  Most we gave to the sheep first so they would strip off the bark - no probs with those.  The hedge laying went quicker though than the bark eating so a stretch of the laid hedge had poles which hadn't been barked.  We put them in upside down but they all sprouted, so now we have willow in the hedge where we didn't want it  ::) :tree:
So, you can stick just about any size of cutting into the ground and most will sprout.  Our original cuttings came from my fathers collection of at least 60 different varieties.  I took cuttings about 1' long, so I could squeeze as many as poss into the boot of the car.  I started them off in a nursery trench then planted them out into their final positions a year later - but that might be too slow a plan.  If you want your new trees to be single trunked, you need to use a single stemmed cutting, so if you are using small branches then cut off the side twigs from them.  If they are short, then the new trees will branch out from low down like a coppice.  If you plant long branches then they will mostly sprout from the top like pollards, but will rock in the wind until their roots are bigger.  For all cuttings you are best to cut off the top as well as the bottom to stimulate new growth.  If you get sideshoots from your cuttings where you don't want them, then trim them off - to give yet more cuttings.  This way you can train your tree into a single stem up to whatever height you want it to start branching out.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 12:36:55 pm by Fleecewife »
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sellickbhoy

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Muiravonside, near Linlithgow
Re: Willow cuttings - advice needed
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2013, 12:39:12 pm »
it was my plan to leave the "poles" to lie on my driveway under a tarp for a year - to allow them to dry out and not take root once "planted"


Was toying with the idea of planting cuttings in between the poles and letting them grow, and then simply "hedgelay" them in and around the "fence posts" giving me a living willow fence supported by quite sturdy trunk fence posts.


But more likely that i will simply take branch cuttings from the living willows each year, dry them out and weave them between the fence poles to make a willow woven fence


we'll see!




Plantoid

  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
Re: Willow cuttings - advice needed
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2013, 12:47:54 pm »
Take your cutting  any time of the year but now is a good time unless your suffering frosted ground
 Take the last foot to 18 inches of any branch and use a steel bar to make a hole about 9 inches deep, bung the cutting in any end up and wack the bar down close to the hole to move the soil onto the cutting.

 Rabbits & hares love willow cuttings and will chew them off at about four inches tall if the weather gets severe , so you might be needing tree guards till they get to just ove an inch thick .
Pollarding a willow  about a foot above ground will see it resprout  new rods galore in spring via its emergency buds and like you have already done you can harvest them in two or three years time in Autumn  for longer rods /stakes
One thing though .. I left my rods up against a wall stood on a concrete path
 Even after 18 months of being there some of the thicker rod resprouted when set in really boggy soil  If you didnt realise it , there are numerous types of willow Ossier are the ones thast make for long rods and wands .  Crack willow will is not so good . Sally willow  makes for a tangle of a hedge if laid .
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 01:06:04 pm by Plantoid »
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