7 tips for grow­ing wil­low

Pol­lard­ing wil­low is sim­i­lar to cop­pic­ing, but in­stead of cut­ting at ground level, trees are cut off at head height or slightly higher.

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Make sure

you plant wil­low where it won’t in­ter­fere with home foun­da­tions or drainage sys­tems.

Any wil­low

branch that is at least 25cm long will take root when planted in soil.

Plant a

branch to at least half of its depth and it will es­tab­lish it­self and send up side shoots.

Al­though

wil­low needs lit­tle care once planted, you should take care to pre­pare the site well: weed well, lay a good, or­ganic mulch, and wa­ter dur­ing dry weather while the trees es­tab­lish.

The spring

af­ter plant­ing, cut the wil­low down to 10cm above ground level and you will have es­tab­lished a wil­low ‘stool’. Rods grow­ing out of this stool can then be cop­piced or left to grow for three or four years and cut off around head height to cre­ate a pol­larded tree. Pol­lard­ing is a method of prun­ing that keeps trees smaller than they would oth­er­wise grow, and mul­ti­ple rods will grow from where it was cut.

Wil­low

branches can also be planted in a row and the grow­ing rods can be in­ter­wo­ven to cre­ate a liv­ing fence.

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