Sol asked how my hybrid willow that I planted back in the spring last year was doing. I hope I'm not one of the bloggers who only posts how wonderful everything I do is, and to prove it here's some willow that hasn't really grown!
|Not quite ready for the fire!|
These pictures were taken in July, but believe me when I say that they haven't put on any growth since I took these photos.
Most have seemed to survive but I guess I should have done a bit more when I read that willow didn't like competition. The majority are at about 8 inches high, not the 8ft that I've read about, it really doesn't like competition from grass and I did nothing to stop it so it's my own fault. Also I think I was a little late in planting them so I doubt that's helped as well.
|There's two hundred trees in this picture - see them? No? Don't worry I don't either until I trip on one!|
With coppicing in this way you're meant to cut them down at the end of the first year, but as they're barely established I'm going to leave it an extra year before I cut them back. That does mean that it will be six years until I get any firewood from these little plots, but I'm not planning on going anywhere so I can wait!
I'm going to plant up another plot this year, although I might plant through plastic or mulch, and I'm planning on putting in a row of a variety of willow for basket making as well, I've no plans to make any baskets yet but if I ever do then the willow will be there waiting for me!
Anyone have much luck with willow last year? Or any other sort of coppicing?