Willow Cuttings

Dunbar Gardens willow cuttings

Dunbar Gardens willow cuttings

UPDATE: I HAVE CURRENTLY STOPPED TAKING ORDERS.

We have been selling willow cuttings for propagation since 2007. These hardwood cuttings are an easy and reliable way to grow new willow plantings. The willow varieties in the table have grown well at Dunbar Gardens in northwest Washington. Most of them are very useful for basket making; some are good for hedges, living fences, sculptural work, or garden ornamentals. There will be variation in the color of both the fresh and dried rods. Order instructions and prices are further down the page. There are also planting and growing tips further down the page which are included with orders. Please keep in mind that these cuttings are intended for use in gardens or where there is active control of weeds and grass. These are not large enough for conservation type plantings.

Willow cuttings list of varieties: Here is a list and short descriptions of the willows we offer. You will also find several collections of varieties that we offer as packages further down the page.

VarietySpeciesCoppiced Height & Color FreshComments
Dicky MeadowsS. purpurea5-8' light green & redGreat choice for basketry
Green DicksS. purpurea5-7' olive green & redGreat for baskets
Dark Dicks
Sold out
S. purpurea6-8' dark redLonger, larger with nice color. Holds leaves late into fall.
Bleu
Sold out
S. purpurea5-8' green to purpleLong, slender rods
Brittany Greens
sold out
S. purpurea6-8' mottled red over greenLong, nice for weavers.
GoldstonesS. purpurea6-8' golden greenEarly catkins. Dried rods a vibrant green.
Hutchinson's RedS. purpurea5-8' red brownLong, slender rods. Sourced from friend in Canada
IretteS. purpurea6-9' light green to brownLarge rods, early catkins.
JagiellonkaS. purpurea6-9' olive green to redLong rods
Lancashire DicksS. purpurea5-7' green to redSlender rods
Packing TwineS. purpurea5-8' brownVariety from Ireland
EugeneS. purpurea5-8' pale green to redGood for weaving, long rods for living willow work.
LambertianaS. purpurea6-8' green to dark redSome branching, rather large but nice to weave with.
Light DicksS. purpurea5-7' pale red brownDespite the name dark rods.
Nancy SaundersS. purpurea2-5' red to grayFine red stems, a bit branchy.
Polish PurpleS. purpurea5-8' green to redSome branching, dries dark brown. Good weaver.
RichartiiS. purpurea5-7' brownVery thin rods, a little branchy, holds leaves late.
Vermont RedS. purpurea5-7' redThin rods.
America
Not available 2023
S. purpurea6-9' green to reddish brownLarge stocky rods. Previously misidentified as Salix americana.
NanaS. purpurea 'nana'2-5' brown, red budsVery fine rods, small cuttings make propagation difficult.
Purpurea x daphnoides
Sold out
S. purpurea x daphnoides5-8' green to purpleLong slender dark rods
CallianthaS. x calliantha4-6' dark redSlender rods, a purpurea x daphnoides hybrid
AmericanaS. americana5-8' redReddish brown, good weaver
Black MaulS. triandra5-9' blackClassic British basket willow but doesn't do well in most of US.
Black HollanderS. triandra5-9' black
Long BudS. triandra5-9' brown
Noir de TouraineS. triandra5-8' dark brownSlender triandra.
Noir de VillainesS. triandra5-8' dark brownNice brown color, large but nice weaver.
WhissenderS. triandra6-8' greenDries light brown, nice aroma.
HarrisonsS. x rubra7-10' greenLarge rods for living willow projects. Dries dark brown, good weaver.
Harrison's B
Sold out
S. x rubra6-10' reddish brownStocky but beautiful color and nice for weaving.
Continental Osier
Not available 2023
S. x rubra7-10' greenLarge rods. Dries light brown.
Irish RedS. x rubra ?Large rods. Living willow projects.
RubykinsS. koriyanagi7-10' brownEarly abundant pink catkins.
Flanders RedS. x fragilis4-8' redSome branching, waxy stems.
Bouton AiguS. x fragilisFrench variety similar to Flanders Red
BasfordianaS. x fragilis5-9' yellow to orange tipsLarge stocky rods.
BritzensisS. x fragilis5-9' orange to redBranchy, beautiful color. Good as a side weaver but too soft for borders.
CardinalisS. x fragilis5-9' yellow to red
Farndon
Not available 2023
S. x fragilis6-9' orange to redGreat winter color. Nice weaver dries to a reddish brown.
Fransgeel RoodS. x fragilis5-8' yellow to orange to redSlender rods, dries reddish brown.
GoldenS. x fragilis6-8' yellow to orangeVigorous large rods.
Jaune de FalaiseS. x fragilis5-8' yellowSlender rods, dries reddish brown.
KaatS. x fragilis6-9' yellowLarge rods
Natural RedS. x fragilis6-9' yellow to redDries reddish brown, nice weaver.
RaesfeldS. x fragilis3-8' green to redWaxy olive green rods. Strong columnar tree.
Blue StreakS. acutifolia6-9' green to purple with white bloomSilvery white catkins. Can bloom December through March. Nice ornamental tree.
UnnamedS. acutifolia6-9' purple rods with white bloomNice weaver.
Continental PurpleS. daphnoides6-10' purpleBeautiful dark stout rods. Great for living willow projects.
Dugpil
Sold out
S. daphnoides6-9' purpleDanish variety
Le BleuS. daphnoides6-9' purplevariety from Joe Hogan
MeikleS. daphnoides6-10' purpleLarge rods.
StewartstownS. daphnoides6-10' purple to blackDark stout rods.. Early large catkins for floral cuttings.
BluestemS. irrorataDark red covered in powdery white bloom in winterSouthwest native, winter ornamental, not vigorous.
Blackskin
sold out
S. myrsinfolia5-9' blackBlack when fresh, soaks up a dark red.
Fanny's WhiteS. x fragilis decipiens3-4' light brown to creamWhite Welsh willow. Not vigorous when coppiced.
MelanostachysS. gracilistylaBlack catkins. Ornamental not for basketry.
Mount AsoS. gracilistylaPink catkins. Ornamental not for basketry
Pink DelightS. americana x eleagnos f. angustifolia
PescaraS. amplexicaulis4-6' dark purpleSlender but branchy, holds leaves very late, small early catkins clustered on branch tips.
SuchowS. suchowensisLarge rods. Potential for living willow structures.
Arnold SelectS. miyabeanaLarge rods. Potential for living willow structures or windbreaks. Leafs out very early.
Scarlet Curly WillowSalix x pendulina f. erythroflexuosa Ornamental curly willow

willow cuttings rainbow

Recommendations:

  • S. purpurea varieties are the best choice to produce rods for weaving when coppiced in most locations. Our favorites are Dicky Meadows, Green Dicks, Dark Dicks, Brittany Greens, Bleu, Goldstones, Hutchinson’s Red, Jagiellonka, Irette, Packing Twine.
  • S. triandra varieties are good basketry willows but do not grow well in most places. Suitable for locations with cooler, milder weather like maritime influenced climates. Favorites include Whissender and Noir de Villaines.
  • Some other good choices for basketry in most locations include Purpurea x daphnoides, Salix americana, Harrison’s B, Flanders Red.
  • We offer several S. x fragilis varieties that range in the yellow to red tip color when fresh. Most dry to a reddish brown color. These can be a bit branchy or stocky depending on the climate but usually produce nice rods after a couple years of coppicing. Our favorites include Jaune de Falaise, Natural Red, Farndon, Fransgeel Rood.
  • S. daphnoides and S. acutifolia have rods in the purple color range. They often have a white ‘bloom’ on the older wood. This bloom sometimes appears after they are harvested. Some nice varieties are Continental Purple, Blue Streak, Dugpil and S. acutifolia unnamed.
  • Remember that a bundle of 5 cuttings really won’t produce a significant number of rods. It does offer a way to trial a variety and produce more cuttings to propagate. In order to start growing enough to actually weave baskets it’s better to plant 20 or more of a few varieties.
  • Good varieties for living willow structures include Harrisons, Eugene, Goldstones, Continental Purple, Irish Red. For living fences Goldstones, Irette, Eugene, Whissender, Harrison’s B.
  • Most of the varieties have potential for harvesting bark. Bark is usually harvested from older rods. We use rods that are at least three years old. I would still recommend coppicing the first year after planting. The best bark will come from the long lower length of the rod that is fairly free of branches. Also it’s better to plant your willows for bark separate or on the north side of your planting to avoid shade. Some potential varieties for bark are Harrisons, Continental Purple, Basfordiana, Green Dicks.
  • Varieties with possible floral value include Stewartstown, Blue Streak, Irette, Rubykins, Bluestem, Pescara, Nancy Saunders, Melanostachys, Mount Aso.
  • Caution when ordering S. purpurea varieties in the Pacific Northwest. Some varieties are particularly attractive to a stem gall midge in the Cecidomyiidae family. The midge lays eggs in the stems and the larvae make a gall on the stem. The most susceptible varieties at our farm are Eugene, Lambertiana, Polish Purple, Leicestershire Dicks, Light Dicks, America, Richartii, Packing Twine, Vermont Red.

How to order willow cuttings:

UPDATE: I have stopped taking orders for 2023. I will be retiring from mail order sales in 2024. I will continue on farm sales. Thanks!

The best way to propagate willow is from dormant hardwood cuttings; so I have to limit the sales to the winter months. I start taking orders in January. To order send an e-mail to steve@dunbargardens.com with the name of the varieties and the quantity of each you would like to order. Orders picked up at the farm can pay by cash, check or credit card when the order is picked up. No telephone orders please.

Can’t decide?

  • Basketmaker’s package: One bundle each of Dicky Meadows, Green Dicks, Dark Dicks, Goldstones, Jagiellonka, Packing Twine, Purpurea x daphnoides, Americana, Harrison’s B, Jaune de Falaise. $100 plus applicable shipping and tax.
  • Color package: One bundle each of Irette, Calliantha, Britzensis, Fransgeel Rood, Natural Red, Golden, Continental Purple, Blue Streak, Stewartstown, Flanders Red. $100 plus applicable shipping and taxes.

2024 Willow Cuttings Prices:

willow cuttings packageOur production of willows for Katherine’s baskets allows us to select good sized cuttings to insure successful rooting in your garden. Our cuttings are about 11 inches in length and fairly straight.

Full size rods for living willow fences and structures 7-10 feet in length are available only at the farm for pick-up.

Prices for full size rods:

Due to last year’s dry summer I will not be selling full sized rods in 2023.

We do not sell dried willow rods for basketmaking or weaving.

harvesting willow bundles

Planting willow cuttings and growing tips:

You can grow basket willows in a wide range of soil types, but they prefer well drained soils in full sun. The willows will grow in almost all areas of the US and are very hardy. Willows in general have a tendency to be variable to climate and growing conditions. Your willow bed should ideally be free of any perennial weeds. Get your willow growing area ready the year before you plant. The soil is often too wet in the early spring when you will want to plant the cuttings. Some people choose to plant through a weed barrier fabric. Make sure you cut larger enough holes in the poly to avoid girdling of the stem as the plant grows in subsequent years.

Spring is the best time to plant willow cuttings. February through April. You can leave the willow cuttings in your fridge until you are ready to plant them. Plant when the ground has thawed and danger of hard frost has passed. If you garden, a good time to plant coincides with early crops like peas or when daffodils are blooming. Later is fine if it allows you to prepare the area and control weeds. planting willow cuttings

Willow cuttings root easily. Plant by simply pushing the cuttings into the ground with the buds facing up. If the soil is rocky or compacted, make a hole with a dibber for each cutting. Try to plant the cuttings 6 to 9 inches into the ground. Leave 2 or 3 buds above the soil surface. Firm the soil around the planted cuttings.

Maintain and check for adequate soil moisture during the first summer. Minimize competition for water and sunlight from weeds or other plants. Mulching the plants can be helpful.

new willow planting

new willow planting at Dunbar Gardens

Spacing of the willow cuttings depends on several factors including how the willow will be harvested, how weeds will be controlled, variety, and soil fertility. We are using a spacing of 6 inches in the row by 36 inches between rows for most of our basket varieties. We have also used 12 inches by 24 inches. Wider spacing is appropriate for producing large rods for garden structures, trellises, or living fences; or when growing in poor soils. Hedges can be planted in a single row spaced from 12 to 24 inches; or a double row planted 24 inches apart with the plants offset. coppiced basketry willow

Basket willows are usually coppiced to the ground annually, including the first year. Only an inch of the original stem needs to be left above the soil the second spring. Find more info and photos about coppicing here on our blog. This approach will give you more straight and uniform rods. We do leave some rods to grow for two or three years for sticks, stakes, and for peeling.

You can choose to grow all your willows as pollards which is an attractive landscape feature and keeps the willows up higher away from browsers and weeds. Attractive hedges can be produced by coppicing alternate plants in alternate years just before the willow leafs out in the spring. The result is a hedge that will look good year round; highlighting the winter rods that are more colorful in the first and second years growth. Take a look at our webpage about basketry willow for some more information and photos of the willow at Dunbar Gardens: basketry willow.

Spike inspects the basketry willow

Spike inspects the basket willow

 

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