The success of your Willow Structure depends on good maintenance. This is not difficult but it does need to be done at the right time of year.
In the first year:-
- After planting leave to establish and take root. If possible keep children off. In spring, when it begins to sprout, it will be much more robust.
- If there is no heavy rain within the first couple of weeks of planting thoroughly soak the base of each willow rod with water to wash soil into any gaps between the rod and the ground.
- Keep weeds away from the base of the Willow but if you use a strimmer be careful not to ring bark the Willow as this will kill it.
- Water well in hot or dry weather. A good soak once a week is much better than frequent small amounts of water. Installing a ‘soaker hose’ along the base of the willow is a labour saving idea.
- In the summer you can weave in any side shoots but in this first year do not summer prune.
- In the autumn, once the leaves have fallen, cut back the top growth to encourage root growth for the next year.
In following years:-
- In summer you can weave in side shoots or prune them back.
- In autumn either cut back top growth to maintain the shape of the structure or let it grow bushy!
- Check the ties to make sure they are not coming loose and re-tie if necessary, otherwise your structure may spring apart.
- Note that any autumn pruned rods that are more than finger thick at the base can be planted to enlarge or repair the structure. Alternatively they can be cut into 12” long cuttings and planted to start off your own willow bed which will provide material for craft work or future living willow projects.
To find out more about Living Willow call now on 01373 813441 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.