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Author Topic: Planting willow plugs  (Read 8214 times)

JMB

  • Joined Apr 2011
Planting willow plugs
« on: April 06, 2013, 05:15:44 pm »
Hi.
I bought a few willow plugs ( super willow) from eBay but am not sure where to plant them ( sun, shade etc).
Also they are relatively young so do I plant them out now or should I grow them on in tubs etc ( sorry, I am not a gardener - I just want to grow some willow for my sheep)
I also assume other animals will demolish them so good protection ideas would be helpful.
Thanks
Joanne xxxx

spandit

  • Moderator
  • Joined Mar 2013
  • East Sussex
    • Sussex Forest Garden
Re: Planting willow plugs
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2013, 06:58:03 pm »
Just stick them in the ground. You might want to buy some spiral wraps to protect from bunnies. Sheep will need taller tree tubes

Are they just sticks or bare rooted? Not sure what "plugs" entails

Keep well watered and they should grow surprisingly quickly
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 07:12:54 pm by spandit »
sussexforestgarden.blogspot.co.uk

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: Planting willow plugs
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2013, 07:26:19 pm »
I just make a hole about 20cm deep with a dibber and stick them in. I started with 20 bought and then have successively cut branches from those and put them in the ground. I now have over a hundred willows of five different varieties - four for basket weaving and one (Viminalis) for hurdles. They grow like topsy here (Welsh heavy clay soil) and cost nothing beyond the initial startup.


It's a little late to be plating now but willow is incredibly easy to grow so I would just crack on. Everything's a bit late this year anyway I think because of the awful weather we've been having and my willow are barely in bud at the moment.


I kept the stems clear to a height of about three feet and then I coppice them from there.


As spandit says - spirals are a must and very effective.
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

JMB

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: Planting willow plugs
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2013, 07:53:30 pm »
They've got roots and come in little plugs of soil.
Thanks for the advice. I'll get some protection for them and get going
J xxxxc

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: Planting willow plugs
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2013, 08:12:18 pm »
Cripes - that's fancy!! I just shove sticks in the ground and they go and go  ;D ;D


Your's should come up absolutely beautifully JMB :thumbsup: :excited:
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Planting willow plugs
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2013, 11:08:38 am »
If they're rooted and in soil or compost you can plant them out anytime. Keep them watered and protect from bunnies etc and they'll be 10 feet tall by the end of the summer.

Clarebelle

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: Planting willow plugs
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2013, 11:12:03 am »
about the protection - will the willow reach a point where it no longer needs protecting from rabbits? If so, how long does it usually take for them to reach that stage?

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Planting willow plugs
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2013, 02:56:48 pm »
The rabbits will chew the bark off up to as high as they can reach. You'll need to protect them until they get fairly thick and have adult tree bark. Most people coppice willow which means cutting it back to ground level every year or every few years and it's the new shoots that are the bunnies favourite. I've found that my geese are pretty partial to willow as well and they can reach a hell of a lot higher than a rabbit.

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: Planting willow plugs
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2013, 02:59:45 pm »
I'm afraid my experience with other trees suggests that rabbits will gnaw through mature bark aswell  >:(


I have to say - so far - the plastic spirals have protected ours - even with the heavy snow.
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Planting willow plugs
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2013, 08:54:00 am »
Yes I just leave the plastic spiral guards on. Trouble is when you want to coppice and get multiple shoots it's difficult to protect them then. We pollard instead which means cutting above the guards leaving a single trunk from which multiple shoots will grow above rabbit height. Largely depends on why you're growing them really.

suziequeue

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Llanidloes; Powys
Re: Planting willow plugs
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2013, 09:27:10 am »
Yes - we pollard the willow at about three feet. The hazel is going to be a little trickier but we shall see. The rabbits gave them a real pasting last year and I'm not sure how many survived the onslaught.
We do the best we can with the information we have

When we know better we do better

covebeech

  • Joined Jun 2013
Re: Planting willow plugs
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2013, 03:47:24 pm »
Hi
I've just bought some salix triandra (black maul) willow plugs - they're about 6" high rooted in little plugs. I bought them this way as I wanted to plant in a month's time rather than wait until autumn/winter. I'm assuming it's OK to plant them out into deep pots and grow them on until I'm ready? Why didn't I wait until I was ready?...you may well ask.....!! I don't have the answer.
Any tips welcome.

ferretkeeper

  • Joined May 2013
  • Carmarthenshire
    • Brecon View Farm
    • Facebook
Re: Planting willow plugs
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2013, 04:16:57 pm »
I don't see why not! The only disadvantage might be that instead of poking sticks in soil come planting time you'll have to dig holes and make cuts through any membrane you've put down - but if you haven't got hundreds it's not such an issue. This is the 4th year I haven't been ready to plant willow, I will be ready this winter, I WILL!
breconviewfarm.co.uk Rare breed, free range.

spandit

  • Moderator
  • Joined Mar 2013
  • East Sussex
    • Sussex Forest Garden
Re: Planting willow plugs
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2013, 04:27:51 pm »
From what I've read, the year after you have stuck the rods in the ground, you cut them back down again. If I wanted to pollard them, do I just cut down to a couple of feet and what if there's more than one shoot?
sussexforestgarden.blogspot.co.uk

ferretkeeper

  • Joined May 2013
  • Carmarthenshire
    • Brecon View Farm
    • Facebook
Re: Planting willow plugs
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2013, 06:37:29 pm »
Depends how you want the willow to grow/what it's for - if you want a multi stemmed tree eg for coppicing then you can cut hard back ie close to the ground after the first year. It will re-sprout lots of stems from ground level, you leave it until each new trunk is the thickness you need before cutting again. If you want the multi stem part to be higher off the ground then cut at the level you want; in either case you'd cut all stems at that point.

What's the reason behind pollarding as opp to just coppicing?
breconviewfarm.co.uk Rare breed, free range.

 

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