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Eggleston Hall Gardens

Eggleston Hall Gardens Journal

Willow Wands; How to take cuttings of them

5th March, 2013

This orange stemmed plant is a willow, and willows are amongst the easiest plants in the world to propagate, it was looking particularly attractive this morning so I struck a couple of dozen of which I can confidently predict, all will take. I'm that good....although a dysfunctional monkey could get the same result.The willow is Salix alba britzensis and to keep it in check and with good coloured stems it needs coppicing or pollarding every year or every second year, annually is my preference as it provides a stronger colouration to the stems on year old growth.

Take pieces of the young stems from 30cm up to 2m long and poke pilot holes with a cane on any spare bit of ground you have, shove in your willow cuttings (called 'wands' in horticultural speak) as far as you can then leave alone for a year, after which they will have rooted and you can dig them up to plant out where you want them....they make excellent windbreaks, give superb winter colour, look good in arrangements (they last weeks and often root in the vase), as well as being used in biomass experiments to save the world! A pretty good plant I'd say.

The method works with the vast majority of willows, including whomping, weeping, and cricket bat forms.

P.S...The term 'struck' does not mean I hit anything.....It is a gardening term meaning to make (strike) a cutting out of plant material, I get in enough trouble without adding plant abuse to the list!