Willows (New York, Zone 6)

bob64(6)June 23, 2008

In March or early April I put some willow (Salix amygdaloides or "peach leaf" willow) stakes in along the perimeter of a stream mostly on the top of the banks a few inches to one foot inland spaced about 10 feet apart. The area stays consistently moist to wet. Herbaceous plants have sprung up and I now can't find many of my stakes. Around those I could find I cut back the vegetation to let in some more light. Now that summer is here there is also a full canopy over the whole area. Do you think my stakes have a good shot at survival? Do you think critters might have got 'em? Would fall be a better time to start willows?

I planted native pussy willow stakes about two years ago and many of them are still alive but those are in more sun and I put those right into the actual sides of the stream banks.

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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

I think you can start willow stakes any time. I would remove most or all of the leaves, so they don't dry out due to lack of roots, but the warm weather should speed sprouting. If you have a good supply of stakes, plant lots more than you want so that after a few die and a few are eaten you still have as many as you wanted. I think a stake that is growing leaves has a decent shot at survival. I would remove thick vegetation over the stakes, but don't clear too much. Sometimes clearing too much vegetation makes your plant an easy target for animals to eat. A plant hidden amid other vegetation is harder to find, it seems. I think willows will grow anywhere there is moist soil - they don't need to be right next to the stream.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 9:48AM
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Thanks Lady.
I put the stakes in when they were still dormant and they did start making leaves but then they kind of got lost in all of the other growth that subsequently kicked in. I planted several on the guess that there will be some attrition. I hope I can find them when fall comes around. If so, then my spring planting will have proven to be a good decision since they will have had that much more time to establish.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 5:47PM
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