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.
|Variety||Species||Coppiced Height & Color Fresh||Comments|
|Dicky Meadows||S. purpurea||5-8' light green & red||Great choice for basketry|
|Green Dicks||S. purpurea||5-7' olive green & red||Great for baskets|
|S. purpurea||6-8' dark red||Longer, larger with nice color. Holds leaves late into fall.|
|S. purpurea||5-8' green to purple||Long, slender rods|
|S. purpurea||6-8' mottled red over green||Long, nice for weavers.|
|Goldstones||S. purpurea||6-8' golden green||Early catkins. Dried rods a vibrant green.|
|Hutchinson's Red||S. purpurea||5-8' red brown||Long, slender rods. Sourced from friend in Canada|
|Irette||S. purpurea||6-9' light green to brown||Large rods, early catkins.|
|Jagiellonka||S. purpurea||6-9' olive green to red||Long rods|
|Lancashire Dicks||S. purpurea||5-7' green to red||Slender rods|
|Packing Twine||S. purpurea||5-8' brown||Variety from Ireland|
|Eugene||S. purpurea||5-8' pale green to red||Good for weaving, long rods for living willow work.|
|Lambertiana||S. purpurea||6-8' green to dark red||Some branching, rather large but nice to weave with.|
|Light Dicks||S. purpurea||5-7' pale red brown||Despite the name dark rods.|
|Nancy Saunders||S. purpurea||2-5' red to gray||Fine red stems, a bit branchy.|
|Polish Purple||S. purpurea||5-8' green to red||Some branching, dries dark brown. Good weaver.|
|Richartii||S. purpurea||5-7' brown||Very thin rods, a little branchy, holds leaves late.|
|Vermont Red||S. purpurea||5-7' red||Thin rods.|
Not available 2023
|S. purpurea||6-9' green to reddish brown||Large stocky rods. Previously misidentified as Salix americana.|
|Nana||S. purpurea 'nana'||2-5' brown, red buds||Very fine rods, small cuttings make propagation difficult.|
|Purpurea x daphnoides|
|S. purpurea x daphnoides||5-8' green to purple||Long slender dark rods|
|Calliantha||S. x calliantha||4-6' dark red||Slender rods, a purpurea x daphnoides hybrid|
|Americana||S. americana||5-8' red||Reddish brown, good weaver|
|Black Maul||S. triandra||5-9' black||Classic British basket willow but doesn't do well in most of US.|
|Black Hollander||S. triandra||5-9' black|
|Long Bud||S. triandra||5-9' brown|
|Noir de Touraine||S. triandra||5-8' dark brown||Slender triandra.|
|Noir de Villaines||S. triandra||5-8' dark brown||Nice brown color, large but nice weaver.|
|Whissender||S. triandra||6-8' green||Dries light brown, nice aroma.|
|Harrisons||S. x rubra||7-10' green||Large rods for living willow projects. Dries dark brown, good weaver.|
|S. x rubra||6-10' reddish brown||Stocky but beautiful color and nice for weaving.|
Not available 2023
|S. x rubra||7-10' green||Large rods. Dries light brown.|
|Irish Red||S. x rubra ?||Large rods. Living willow projects.|
|Rubykins||S. koriyanagi||7-10' brown||Early abundant pink catkins.|
|Flanders Red||S. x fragilis||4-8' red||Some branching, waxy stems.|
|Bouton Aigu||S. x fragilis||French variety similar to Flanders Red|
|Basfordiana||S. x fragilis||5-9' yellow to orange tips||Large stocky rods.|
|Britzensis||S. x fragilis||5-9' orange to red||Branchy, beautiful color. Good as a side weaver but too soft for borders.|
|Cardinalis||S. x fragilis||5-9' yellow to red|
Not available 2023
|S. x fragilis||6-9' orange to red||Great winter color. Nice weaver dries to a reddish brown.|
|Fransgeel Rood||S. x fragilis||5-8' yellow to orange to red||Slender rods, dries reddish brown.|
|Golden||S. x fragilis||6-8' yellow to orange||Vigorous large rods.|
|Jaune de Falaise||S. x fragilis||5-8' yellow||Slender rods, dries reddish brown.|
|Kaat||S. x fragilis||6-9' yellow||Large rods|
|Natural Red||S. x fragilis||6-9' yellow to red||Dries reddish brown, nice weaver.|
|Raesfeld||S. x fragilis||3-8' green to red||Waxy olive green rods. Strong columnar tree.|
|Blue Streak||S. acutifolia||6-9' green to purple with white bloom||Silvery white catkins. Can bloom December through March. Nice ornamental tree.|
|Unnamed||S. acutifolia||6-9' purple rods with white bloom||Nice weaver.|
|Continental Purple||S. daphnoides||6-10' purple||Beautiful dark stout rods. Great for living willow projects.|
|S. daphnoides||6-9' purple||Danish variety|
|Le Bleu||S. daphnoides||6-9' purple||variety from Joe Hogan|
|Meikle||S. daphnoides||6-10' purple||Large rods.|
|Stewartstown||S. daphnoides||6-10' purple to black||Dark stout rods.. Early large catkins for floral cuttings.|
|Bluestem||S. irrorata||Dark red covered in powdery white bloom in winter||Southwest native, winter ornamental, not vigorous.|
|S. myrsinfolia||5-9' black||Black when fresh, soaks up a dark red.|
|Fanny's White||S. x fragilis decipiens||3-4' light brown to cream||White Welsh willow. Not vigorous when coppiced.|
|Melanostachys||S. gracilistyla||Black catkins. Ornamental not for basketry.|
|Mount Aso||S. gracilistyla||Pink catkins. Ornamental not for basketry|
|Pink Delight||S. americana x eleagnos f. angustifolia|
|Pescara||S. amplexicaulis||4-6' dark purple||Slender but branchy, holds leaves very late, small early catkins clustered on branch tips.|
|Suchow||S. suchowensis||Large rods. Potential for living willow structures.|
|Arnold Select||S. miyabeana||Large rods. Potential for living willow structures or windbreaks. Leafs out very early.|
|Scarlet Curly Willow||Salix x pendulina f. erythroflexuosa||Ornamental curly willow|
- 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 email@example.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.
- 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:
- $10 per bundle of 5 cuttings.
- On farm purchases pay sales tax of 8.6%.
- For mail orders we suggest other sources: Lakeshore Willows, Vermont Willows, Living Willow Farm, Willowglen Nursery.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.