Living Willow Information
Why Plant Willow?
In recent years willow has been recognised an excellent plant for use as a quick, easy and cost effective hedge or screen. It is now used in gardens, farms and by landowners as simple hedging and screening of unsightly objects & views. It's even planted for use as windbreaks as the willow is tolerant of windy, exposed and even coastal conditions.
The ease in which these hedges can be planted means even the non-green fingered among us can create a willow hedge without difficulty. The willow rods are inserted into the ground where they take root and start to grow.
The benefits to wildlife are also worth noting. Willow produces catkins very early in the year providing essential food for bees and insects. They also provide habitats for various birds and bees throughout the year - not to mention grazing fodder for passing deer.
General Willow Planting Info
1. Living willow grows in most soils but avoid free draining soils as willow prefers ground thats wet / moist.
2. Avoid planting living willow near building foundations or drainage pipes - at least 1.5 x the maximum intended hedge height away.
3. Plant willow at the right time of the year when the living willow is dormant Beginning of December to March/April.
4. Plant the willow rods or whips as soon as you can after delivery at a depth of 25-30cm (10-12 inches).
5. Dont plant if the ground is frozen.
6. Living willow grows much better without competition ! So clear existing vegetation for at least 0.25m from the hedge using Roundup or similar. For a more eco friendly method lay a mulch sheet along the line of the intended hedge to kill off the vegetation. Its easier to lay the mulch mat if you mow the area beforehand.