Planting Willow

We are really eager to plant trees, but also want to observe and get to know the land before we really go ahead and do anything. The thing is we have these ugly agricultural buildings and “kennels” close to our living space that it would be great to simply hide.

One tree species we know we’ll want a lot of is Willow (Salix spp). It is such a brilliant tree. Great for wildlife, basketry, as a windbreak and wood-fuel crop to name just a few uses. So as a hiding tactic Willow was an obvious choice as it is easy to establish, grows quickly, and we can take cuttings from it (next year) if we also want to plant it elsewhere on the land.

The only problem was that willow is generally cut in the Winter. Patience, as they say, is a virtue. As soon as Winter was deemed to have started, we placed our order for 1 foot high willow cuttings.

Willow for basketry

Beautiful Willow for basketry

A few days after they arrived we had planted all 560 stems of mainly Bowles Hybrid but also some beautiful basketry varieties including:

  • Salix triandra – Black Maul
  • Salix daphandoides
  • Salix alba
  • Salix purpurea
  • Salix viminalis

I can’t wait to start experimenting with these colours.

Clearing space for the Willow

Craig clearing space for the Willow

Planting took longer than expected as there was more clearing to do than we originally thought. I’m sure there will be a point where we have found all of the discarded wood, plastic guttering, worn tyres and various bits of farming paraphernalia in the long grass. Pretty much everything that we have found so far has been useful though – even if it’s just to keep other things weighed down.

That’s 561 trees planted now and that makes us very happy.