How to cop­pice wil­low

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Home-grown, Hand-made -

One of the most ben­e­fi­cial things about wil­low trees is how easy they are to care for and how quick they are to grow.

It can be use­ful, in dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios, to grow wil­lows as spec­i­men trees, bar­ri­ers, hedges or liv­ing fences, or to cop­pice them to make use of the branches as a re­new­able re­source for an­i­mal fod­der or for bas­ketry and art­work.

Cop­pic­ing is the prac­tice of cut­ting wil­lows back to ground level to max­imise re­growth, mak­ing wil­low a valu­able re­source. Cut­ting trees back yearly re­sults in mul­ti­ple straight rods that can be used for var­i­ous pur­poses, in­clud­ing weav­ing and fod­der.

Cop­pic­ing ev­ery two or three years pro­duces longer, thicker rods of 5-7cm in di­am­e­ter and around 3m in length.

Cop­pic­ing on a longer cy­cle will al­low you to grow fire­wood or thicker fence posts. In any of these sce­nar­ios, cut­ting back growth on a reg­u­lar cy­cle will al­low you to en­joy the same straight rods again and again in the com­ing years.

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