Prior to planting:
We prepare willow cuttings fresh to order. This ensures that the stock arrives in prime condition. It is important that cuttings are planted as quickly as possible, and have soaked for a few hours prior, to replace lost moisture. If the cuttings are not able to be planted immediately, they must be stored in a cool, shady place. If weather is warm and drying, the cuttings must be kept moist by placing then in water for a few hours, and then placed in a fridge until being planted.
Where and how do I plant my willow?
Willow can be grown in a range of soil types, but it is best if soil that is waterlogged be avoided, along with very dry soils. Willow is best suitable for USDA Hardiness Zones 3-6. Please refer to the Zone Map to locate which Zone you are in.
Planting through a weed mat, placed directly over grass land, is ideal. The matting will need to be pinned down, or weighed down at the corners, to avoid from being lifted by wind, or vigorous weeds. Another ground cover alternative is natural mulch. These will suppress the weed for as long as it takes for the willow to establish a canopy, which block the weeds from light.
The cuttings should be planted so that 2 inches are visible above the ground. A planting bar 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch in diameter should be used to make a hole the width of the cutting (some varieties vary in width). The planting bar should be hammered into the ground and retracted, leaving a hole 6 inches deep. Place the cutting in the hole, with buds pointing upward. When using a weed mat, making the holes will probably take some effort, due to the thickness of the weed mat (See diagram for spacing).
Pinning down the ground cover next to the cuttings is advantageous, to stop the wind from blowing the mat up. You can make your own pins from wire coat hangers or 2.5mm fencing wire cut into one foot lengths, bent into U shapes. Push the pins into the ground 2 inches away from both sides of the cutting.
It is important that the cuttings do not dry out post-planting. Water plants as needed to encourage good root development. Using a weed mat or mulch will help to retain moisture.
If you desire a dense fence or hedge, cut back growth to a few inches above the crown at the end of the first year, which will encourage new shoots from the base. This should be done during winter months.
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