Over the past few days I have been sorting through old notebooks; revisiting past to do lists, notes from different gardens, bits and pieces from work and other random things I have started writing.
In amongst it all I found some notes from a talk about willow I went to some years ago, since then I have learnt how informative it is to put dates on things, whatever they might be. If I remember correctly the talk was by The Willow Bank and has been one that I still remember and often use what information I’d remembered from it.
- Willow mainly travels by seed, similar to dandelion but also by cuttings which travel down streams and water sources and take root, hence why willow is so common on river banks.
- Willow hybridises itself and so most areas have their own unique variety
- Willow seeds do not store well which is why cuttings are used, this creates ‘clones’ of the mother plant
- Cuttings have a success rate of approx ninety percent but can be as high as hundred percent
- Planting season is December to March
- Growing session is March to November
- Plantations will last for fifty years however thirty years is recommended for commercial sites. By the third year a plantation will be almost up to it’s optimum harvest
- Rabbits are its main ‘pest’
- Willow has cells in it’s roots that hold oxygen which is why it will stand in water for periods of time
- Traditionally willow was planted around orchards and market gardens as shelter and because of it’s early flowering attracting beneficial insects