Advice for Willow Sculptures
The time to plant willow sculptures is in the winter when the plant is not in leaf.
Planting in the autumn carries a slight risk that the cuttings rot
off and later in the spring risks damaging the root nodules that
will start to sprout very quickly after the willow is cut.
The rods should be planted as quickly as possible after receipt/cutting.
If this is not possible then store them with their bases in at least
12 inches of water, in a sheltered, shady corner until the planting
can be carried out, though remember the sooner the better.
After a couple of weeks in the water (especially in late winter)
root nodules will start to form and the leaves will start to sprout
- each of which may get damaged when planted.
For even growth within the structure plant as many of the rods
diagonally as possible - rods that are planted vertically tend to
sprout new growth just at the top. For the largest rods you
may have to dig a hole or create a hole with an iron bar.
If the ground has been well prepared you can push the rods into
the ground - don't force the rod, this will damage the bark and
in turn its ability to form roots.
Long 2/3 year old rods should be planted to 30-45cm (12-18 inches)
the deeper the better. One year old rods should be planted
25-30cm (10-12 inches) deep, again the deeper the better.
Firm up the soil around the rod with your feet or hands again being
careful not to damage the bark.
Once the structure is finished give the site a good soaking with
water and cover the ground with your choice of mulch to stop the
weed growth - remember the thicker the layer the better.