Tuesday 14 July 2015

Willow Trees Update

Dawn over at Doing It For Ourselves In Wales has just done a post on the woodlands that she's planting so it spurred me on to go and take some pictures of my coppice areas and how they're doing.
The tallest from 2014 - about 6ft high
 The hybrid willow I planted for fuel last year (March 2014) is finally coming into it's own. It hardly made an appearance last year but now it's coming on strong. One is as tall as me and the others are around three foot tall. I'm pleased as I thought I might have to replant these areas as they grew so poorly last year, I guess they were just getting their roots established ready to battle the weeds this year!
The rest of this batch are about 3ft high but there are lots in there so I'm quite pleased.
 My willow I planted for basket weaving is coming up quite well but looking at it I know I should have spent a little more money on the weed mating. It was falling apart as I was putting it down so I'm not sure what I was expecting. there are some good strong plants in there though so I'm still pleased. The rabbits seem to have left them alone as well which is always a bonus!
The hybrid willow I planted this year isn't doing so well and I have only myself to blame. I made a critical error with it. I pegged the matting down, planted the willows, then just left it for a month or so. I think what happened was the wind would blow the matting up and down (this was before I added the wood chip) and it knocked the budds off the cuttings. A simple mistake that's cost me a lot of time to try to get these growing well again next year. 
 It's not a total loss though as there are still plenty of them growing and looking okay but no the numbers that should be there. I'll have to keep my eye on them a little better in future and put the wood chip down straight away.
The old willow we pollarded is coming back strong now, with loads of new growth, ideal if I had goats! I'll let this grow for a few years then cut it for firewood again.
 The bottom little coppice area (started in 2012) is looking a little more established. The trees hold their own now and there is a good mix in there, the Rowans (for berries) at the back are about 10ft high and the cherries (not for coppicing just for scion wood) are looking healthy. 
 Even the purple filbert I planted has got some nuts on it - what's the betting Mr Squirrel has them before I do?
The barberries I planted this year are doing well even though I haven't water them since I put them in! 
How are any trees you planted looking this year? Have you had many losses or made many mistakes like I have?


  1. I think its the time consuming job of keeping them weed free until they are established and watered when dry in an ideal world unfortunatly we cant buy time :-)

  2. Not enough space for my own woodland but I do enjoy to read about others planting there own. I have planted my own edible hedge though so I'm part way there, unfortunately only one of the hazels survived so I shall have to buy a couple more.

  3. I make lots of plant and hedge cuttings and I am always dividing up my perennial plants in the poly-tunnel. Plant pots and raised beds are great for raising plants that you want to keep weed free and sell later. It's also a good way of making a few pounds in a wet summer like we are having here in Ireland.

  4. i planted a willow and when it took off, it grew like crazy. i had to take it out because it got too big for the area i planted it in.

  5. I've lost 2 trees this year; a Chestnut and an Albizzia. Both were my fault, too busy to remember to water them.

  6. I've lost 2 trees this year; a Chestnut and an Albizzia. Both were my fault, too busy to remember to water them.

  7. When I think of Willow I always think.. lots of water, of which we do not have here, usually. Do all those types of Willow require a lot of water. Bakset weaving is something I have always wanted to learn! I love the woven fencing I see done out of willow. I can't think now what its called but I am sure you know which I mean.

    I have lost many trees here over the last 11 years! Mostly nut trees and fruit trees. I tried, Chestnut, hazelnuts, almonds, of which they all died. Fruit trees I lost the first two tries to get my orchard going, third time was the charm. It was all about water I think and heat. The nut trees the leaves literally burned off the Chestnuts, prior to summer hitting they were thriving then once the 108 degrees hit they couldn't handle it. Which is the case with a lot of stuff here. The extreme heat is just to much for it. Once I learned to mulch a foot deep literally and yearly my fruit orchard is thriving.

    I guess its all trial and error isn't it!


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