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JPR Environmental
The Malthouse
GL10 3DL

Tel: 01453 822 584
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living willow structures

Planting 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.

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