Planting a Willow Cutting


Jennifer Quinn

This winter I wrote about successfully rooting a willow cutting I had collected in the fall with the hope of starting a new willow tree on my stream bank. Since it was late January by the time the first one had a good root on it, I wasn't sure when would be a safe time to plant it outside, so I just potted it up for the time being. I did the same with a few smaller ones that later began to root.

For some reason, on February 15 I decided it would be a good time to plant the first, larger cutting. (Maybe it was the balmy weather?) Anyway, I thought planting them in late winter would give them a chance to grow their roots a bit before the arrival of warm weather and bright sunlight. When freezing weather returned I began to worry this might damage the roots, so I scrounged up an old laundry basket with the bottom out, and used it to mulch around the cutting with several inches of dead leaves and weeds. Meanwhile, I had planted the other cuttings nearby, but mulching them seemed impractical, so I just let them be.

Come springtime I began anxiously watching for signs of life on the larger cutting, and — sure enough — soon there was a green shoot at the top. Now, as of April 23, it's really leafing out:

willow cutting

The others still have little reddish buds on them but haven't as yet shown any signs of life. I expect they will in time, but no matter — at least it looks like I'll have one new tree!

Photo property of Jennifer Quinn.

5/4/2018 9:21:06 AM

Jennifer, glad to see new life in your willow tree. My early life country memories are from my uncle's small farm in Nebraska where two willow trees grew in the main area by the machine shed. All through those years of youth, I spent summers there on the farm and I admired those trees. I expect that they are long gone by now. I helped my uncle plant government provided trees around the main buildings of the farm for a wind break. That was .... wow, over 50 years ago. I'm not sure what kind they were but I remember them as tiny little twigs. I bet they are monsters by now. Before long you will have a beautiful weeping willow from your little sprout. **** Have a great weeping willow tree day. ***** Nebraska Dave

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters