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How Much Willow Will I Need?

Your Willow Project

Your Willow Project

Below find sections detailing Willow sizes and quantities for: Screening & Hedging, Woven Fences, Living Structures & for growing Firewood.


You can of course save yourself the hassle of doing all these pesky calculations. We supply ready-made Kits for Screening, Woven Fences and a range of Living Structures for building. These come with all the Willow and accessories you need plus full step-by-step instructions. All priced reasonably to reflect what it would cost if you bought all the components separately. Click here to see our full Living Willow range.



Screening & Hedging for Rural Sites

Planting a double row of Willow provides a thick screen of dense growth. Where windbreaks for particularly exposed sites are needed, a triple row of planting can be done.

When it comes to the height of Willow Whip to use, remember that 30cm/1ft of the Whip will be planted into the ground. Example: If you want to plant a 1.8m/6ft high, use 2.1m/7ft Whips for planting.

Our recommended plant spacing is 30cm/1ft. To work out how much willow needed, take the total length of the space to be planted in metres and use this formula: (Total Metre Length x 3.3) x 2 = Number of Whips Needed.

Example: 10 metre screen: (10 x 3.3) x 2 = 66 Whips.

We do supply ready-made Double Row Hedge Kits sold by the metre. These include Weed Control Fabric plus Plastic Ground Pegs and planting instructions. For long stretches of planting you may also want to condiser purchasing a Willow Planting Spike.

Planting Diagram for Double Row Hedge

Planting Diagram for Double Row Hedge

Screening and Hedging for Gardens

A single row of Willow can be planted at a spacing of 25cm. To work out how many whips for your hedge use this formula: (Total Metre Length) x 4 + 1 = Number of Whips Needed.

Example: 10 metre screen: (10 x 4) + 1 = 41 Whips.

You can supplement this with a decorative lattice work of diagonal whips by planting 2 whips inbetween each of the upright whips. Formula for this style hedge: (Total Metre Length) x 12 + 1 = Number of Whips Needed.

Example: 10 metre decorative screen, (10 x 12) + 1 = 121 Whips.

For both styles of screen, additonal whips may want to be added as top bars to give strength.

When it comes to height of Willow Whip to use, remember that 30cm/1ft of the Whip will be planted into the ground. Example: If you want to plant a 1.8m/6ft high, use 2.1m/7ft Whips for planting.

Accessories such as Weed Control Fabric and Flexi-Tie Rubber String can also help with your Willow project.

Planting Diagram of Hedge Styles for Gardens

Planting Diagram of Hedge Styles for Gardens

Living Willow Structures

Living Willow Structures are a more personal project which will need to suit your individual planting site and requirments. We supply a range of ready-made Kits you can View Here including Domes, Tunnels & Wigwams.

Some general tips would be to work out the height and width you want for the structure so you can make sure you're ordering long enough whips. Remember that 30cm of the whip will be lost into the ground when planted so order whips longer than the height of structure you want.

Most of our structures use the 2.7m/9ft Willow Whips for the main frame and 2.4m/8ft Whips for criss-cross patterns. If building for children we would recommend whips no shorter than 1.8m/6ft otherwise the kids will soon out grow the willow structure!

Spacing should be 25-50cm for the main frame with extra whips planted in between to give strength to the structure.



Weaving Living Willow - The sap must flow

Weaving Living Willow - The sap must flow
For Willow to flourish and grow the sap running through the plant needs to be able to run up from the roots right to the top tip of the plant. Weaving styles where the willow bends downwards can sometimes hamper this growth.

When weaving always try to keep the willow pointing slightly up and avoid downward curves. This can be done but runs the risk of dieback. We have in the past created designs where both the top and bottom of the same whip is planted as a loop but the success rate was low.

To create a strong arch you can plant two whips tied together at the top.

Growing Your Own Firewood

Growing Your Own Firewood
Willow is used as a fast growing crop for both wood logs and as chipped biomass. Plant now and you could be burning your own logs in 2-3 years and have an annual supply from then on.

Quantites and plant spacing differ greatly depending on what type of fuel you're looking to produce. Growing willow for logs requires a larger spacing to allow the plants to grow bigger. Growing for chipped fuel requires less space.

We have more information on growing willow as a fuel crop in our Growing Your Own Firewood section here.

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