Willow Cuttings

Dunbar Gardens willow cuttings

Dunbar Gardens willow cuttings

We sell willow cuttings for propagation. 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.

Variety Species Height & color fresh Comments
Dicky Meadows S. purpurea 5-8’ light green & red Productive, great for baskets. Beautiful hedge.
Green Dicks S. purpurea 5-7’ olive green & red Great for weaving baskets
Leicestershire Dicks S. purpurea 5-7’ green to red Slender rods. Early catkins.
Dark Dicks
S. purpurea 6-8’ red Longer, larger with nice color
S. purpurea 5-8’ green to purple Long, slender rods.
Light Dicks S. purpurea 5-7’ pale red brown Despite the name, dark rods.
S. purpurea 6-8’ golden green Early catkins. Dried rods a vibrant green.
Jagiellonka S. purpurea 6-8’ brownish red Larger purpurea.
S. purpurea 5-7’ brown Very thin rods, a little branchy
Purpurea x daphnoides S. purpurea x daphnoides 5-8’ green to purple  Long slender dark rods.
Lambertiana S. purpurea 6-8’ green to dark red Some branching, rather large but very nice to weave with
Polish purple
S. purpurea 5-8’ green to red / purple Some branching; dries dark brown. Good weaver.
S. purpurea 5-8’ pale green to red Good for weaving, long rods for living willow work.
Black Maul S. triandra 5-8’ brown Classic British basket willow
Noir de Villaines
S. triandra 5-8’ dark brown Large but nice weaver. Living fences.
Noir de Touraine S. triandra 5-8’ dark brown Slender triandra. Living fences.
Whissender S. triandra 6-8’ green Dries light brown, nice aroma.
Harrison’s B
S. X rubra 6-10’ reddish brown Stocky, but beautiful color and nice for weaving.
Harrisons S. X rubra 7-10’ green Large, stocky rods for living willow projects. Dries black.
Continental Osier
S. X rubra 7-10’ green Large rods for living willow, hurdles. Dries light brown.
S. koriyanagi 7-10’ brown Early abundant pink catkins. Living willow work.
Flanders Red
S. X fragilis 3-8’ green turning red in winter Some branching, waxy stems.
S. X fragilis 3-8’ green to red Waxy olive green rods
Britzensis S. alba 5-9’ orange to red Branchy, beautiful color but difficult for basket borders. Lovely scent when dry.
Farndon S. X fragilis 6-9’ orange to red Great winter color. Good for side weavers.
Natural Red S. X fragilis 6-9’ yellow to red Great winter color. Grows yellow, dries red.
Blue Streak S. acutifolia 6-10’ white bloom on green to purple Silvery white catkins. Nice ornamental.
Continental Purple S. daphnoides 6-10’ purple to black Beautiful dark stout rods.
Blackskin S. myrsinifolia 5-9’ black Black when fresh, soaks up dark red.
S. purpurea ‘nana’ 2-5’ brown, red buds Very fine rods, small cuttings.

Other Salix varieties available: Lancashire Dicks, Welch, Reeks, Black German, Noir de Challans, Grisette Droda, Multinervis, Mawdesley, Kottendheider Weide, Long Bud, Forbyana, Irette, Fanny’s White, Basfordiana Farndon, Rouge Ardennais, Laurina, Wantage Hall, Bouton Aigu, Belgian Red, America, Kaat, Fransgeel Rood, Jaune de Falaise, Bory Pescara

We make an effort to identify the willows correctly, but willows can be challenging. Willows are a large genus of dioecious plants (separate male and female plants). There are many hybrids and taxonomy is difficult. The common names are useful but there is always the possibility that plant material has been mislabeled. Our emphasis is on passing along varieties that are useful and at a reasonable price.

willow cuttings rainbow

How to order:

The best way to propagate willow is from dormant hardwood cuttings; so we have to limit the sales to the winter months. We start taking orders in December and stop when we sell out. Orders are saved when payment is received. We will ship the cuttings from end of January through early May to accommodate your planting date. We will only ship cuttings to addresses in the USA. We are happy to answer your questions about willow cuttings year round.

 I will start taking orders December 1 for 2018 spring delivery. Thank you.

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. Please include your shipping address with postal zip code. I will send you an email invoice by way of PayPal. (You do not need a PayPal account.) You can use the link to pay securely online with a credit card or you can mail me a check made out to Dunbar Gardens. No telephone orders please.

Orders will be shipped Priority Mail. Orders can also be picked up at the farm after arranging the time. Please give me an idea of when you would like to receive the cuttings for planting. Approximate shipping dates for 2018 will be February 6, 13, 20, 27; March 6, 13, 20, 27; April 3, 10, 17, 24; May 1. You are welcome to change the date later since the weather is tough to predict.

willow cuttings packageOur production of willows for our basketmaking and classes allows us to select good sized cuttings to insure successful rooting in your garden. Our cuttings are 10 inches plus in length. Full size rods for living willow fences and structures 7-9 feet in length are available only at the farm for pick-up.

2018 Willow Cuttings Prices:

$1.70 each (minimum 5 per variety)  Please order in multiples of 5

Can’t decide which to order? We offer several packages.

basketmakers package willow samplesBasketmakers package: some reliable varieties for basket making 5 each of Dicky Meadows, Bleu, Jagiellonka, Light Dicks, Purpurea x daphnoides, Harrison’s B, Black Maul and Noir de Touraine for $60


color package willows samplesColor package: some choice color selections 5 each of Blackskin, Blue Streak, Britzensis, Continental Purple, Farndon, Lambertiana, Natural Red, and Hutchinson’s Red  for $60


purpurea package willows samplesPurpurea package: Salix purpurea varieties are good choices for producing slender unbranched rods in many locations. Less likely to attract deer or diseases. 5 each of Dicky Meadows, Bleu, Jagiellonka, Light Dicks, Green Dicks, Leicestershire Dicks, Lambertiana and Eugene for $60


living willows structures package samplesLiving willow structures and garden trellis package: 5 each of Eugene, Harrisons, America, Jagiellonka, Raesfeld, Noir de Touraine, Rubykins and Continental Purple for $60

Please note that I may have to substitute varieties in the packages depending on availability when they are shipped.

willow cuttings orders by USPSShipping and handling costs are $15 per order except Washington State residents who pay $10 plus sales tax based on destination.

Orders over 1000 cuttings will have additional shipping charges.

Planting instructions will be included with the order. Have questions about cuttings or willow growing? Please read the info below about planting, growing and coppicing willows. More questions? Please e-mail steve@dunbargardens.com.

Prices for full size rods:

We sell full size rods for living willow structures and fences for $3 to $4 each on the farm. Selection of variety is limited on full size rods. We do not sell dried willow rods for basketmaking or weaving.

harvesting willow bundles

Planting and growing tips:

Basket willows can be grown 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, March through May. Leave the willow cuttings in your fridge until you are ready to plant. 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 cuttingsWillow 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 8 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 32 inches between rows for most of our basket varieties. We have also used 12 inches by 24 – 36 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 willowBasket 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.

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