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Black Pussy Willow

sold out

for Spring 2018

We are sold out of both of these items

WILLOWS  ~ SALIX  ~  IN THE FAMILY SALICACEAE


All the material in this website is Copyright 2020 Vermont Willow Nursery. All rights reserved.

Nothing may be used without written permission from the Vermont Willow Nursery.

Layout, text and photographs by Michael Dodge unless otherwise noted.

PLANTING CUTTINGS

click here for

planting instructions

10in Cuttings are sold in bundles of 5, Minimum order is 2 bundles


WHY WILLOWS ARE SO SPECIAL!

70-135 MILLION YEARS AGO, DWARF WILLOWS DOMINATED THE WOODY FLORA.

WILLOWS CAN BE ALPINES, ORNAMENTAL SHRUBS OR HUGE TREES

350+/- DIFFERENT SPECIES ON FOUR CONTINENTS;

MOSTLY IN ASIA, EUROPE, NORTH AMERICA AND CIMCUMPOLAR IN THE ARCTIC

NATIVE WILLOWS ARE FOUND IN EVERY STATE EXCEPT HAWAII

OVER 1500 HYBRIDS AND CULTIVARS WORLDWIDE

WILLOWS ARE NATIVE TO MOST TEMPERATE REGIONS,

ALPINE, ARCTIC AND EVEN SOME TROPICAL REGIONS IN ASIA AND AFRICA

THE TERM 'PUSSY WILLOW' COMES FROM THE APPEARANCE OF MALE CATKINS

BEING SIMILAR TO THOSE OF CATS' PAWS!

SOME WILLOWS GROW OVER 100FT TALL, SOME GROW ONLY ONE INCH TALL

WILLOWS ARE EASY TO PROPAGATE, EASY TO GROW AND EASY TO PRUNE

CUTTINGS 1FT TO 20 FT LONG WILL ROOT IF GIVEN WATER


WILLOWS SELF-PROPAGATE BY SEED,  STEM FRAGMENTATION AND ROOT SUCKERS

WILLOW CATKINS OR AMENTS HAVE SLIM, CYLINDRICAL FLOWER CLUSTERS (SPIKES), WITH NO PETALS AND ARE INSECT POLLINATED.  THEY CONTAIN MANY USUALLY UNISEXUAL FLOWERS, ARRANGED CLOSELY ALONG A CENTRAL STEM.

WILLOWS HAVE MALE AND FEMALE CATKINS ON SEPARATE PLANTS (DIOECIOUS)

RARELY  MALE AND FEMALE ORGANS ARE FOUND

IN THE SAME CATKIN (ANDROGYNOUS); USUALLY IN HYBRID WILLOWS

CATKINS OR AMENTS) MAY BE WHITE, BLACK, GRAY, SILVER, PINK OR RED

AND OFTEN CHANGE COLOR FROM WHEN THEY FIRST APPEAR TO MATURITY

SOME WILLOWS FLOWER BEFORE THE LEAVES APPEAR (PUSSY WILLOWS);

THE TERM USED TO DESCRIBE THIS IS PRECOCIOUS

PUSSY WILLOWS CAN BE COPPICED EVERY YEAR AND WILL BLOOM NEXT SPRING

SOME WILLOWS PRODUCE CATKINS ON SHORT LEAFY GROWTHS;

THE TERM TO DESCRIBE THIS IS COETANEOUS

THESE WILLOWS TAKE SEVERAL YEARS TO FLOWER AFTER COPPICING

SOME TAKE SEVERAL YEARS BEFORE THEY PRODUCE ANY CATKINS

MALE  CATKINS HAVE BOTH NECTAR AND POLLEN

BEES  HARVESTED BOTH NECTAR AND POLLEN SINCE THE CRETACEOUS PERIOD.

BOTH MAKE GREAT TASTING HONEY. ONE OF THE BEST FOOD SOURCES  FOR EAGER BEES. THERE ARE 14 SPECIES OF NATIVE BEES THAT USE WILLOWS EXTENSIVELY AS A SOURCE OF POLLEN. FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO   WILLOWS FOR BEES

WILLOWS ARE NOTORIOUS PHILANDERERS;  POLLENATING INSECTS TRAVEL

BETWEEN CATKINS OF ANY SPECIES IN BLOOM. THIS CAN CREATE PROGENY WITH

MIXED PARENTAGE AND A NIGHTMARE FOR TAXONOMISTS

WILLOWS GROW ALMOST ANYWHERE,  EVEN POOR AND POLLUTED SOILS

ALL THE WILLOWS WE OFFER ARE HARDY TO USDA ZONE 4, SOME HARDIER!

MOST WILLOWS ARE NOT EATEN BY DEER  

DEER WILL NOT EAT SALIX PURPUREA AND SALIX TRIANDRA

A DENSE WILLOW FENCE/FEDGE WILL KEEP DEER OUT

VARIEGATED WILLOWS TURN GREEN WHEN GROWN IN SHADE!

GREAT LONG-LASTING CUT FLOWERS AND BRIGHT COLORED STEMS

FOR WINTER DISPLAYS; INSIDE OR OUT

FIRST WOODY PLANT TO FLOWER IN SPRING

LAST TREE TO LOSE ITS LEAVES IN AUTUMN

ONE BLOOMS OCTOBER THROUGH APRIL!

WILLOWS HAVE YEAR-ROUND INTEREST

ALMOST ALL WEEPING WILLOW TREES CONTAIN GENES FROM THE CHINESE SALIX BABYLONICA AS IT IS THE ONLY TREE WILLOW WITH THAT GENE!

SALIX BABYLONICA WAS GIVEN THAT NAME BY CAROLUS LINNAEUS, THE FATHER OF MODERN TAXONOMY, PROBABLY BECAUSE OF A PASSAGE IN THE BIBLE:

By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion.

On the willows there we hung up our lyres.  Psalms 137: 1-2

WHEN THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN THERE WERE NO WEEPING WILLOWS IN BABYLON!

WHAT WAS REFERRED TO WERE POSSIBLY POPLARS    

IN SUKKOT CEREMONIES IN OCTOBER. THE FOUR SPECIES:

On the first day, you will take for yourselves a fruit of a beautiful tree, palm branches, twigs of a braided tree and brook willows, and you will rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. -Leviticus 23:40

THE BROOK WILLOW MAY REFER TO SALIX ACMOPHYLLA  ( a ZONE 5 SALIX)

A NATIVE TO THAT PART OF THE WORLD

AND COMMON ON THE BANKS OF THE RIVER JORDAN

http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday5.htm

IN DYNGUS DAY EASTER CELEBRATIONS, ESPECIALLY IN BUFFALO NY,

  PUSSY WILLOWS ARE USED IN "FROLICKING FUN" https://www.dyngusday.com

A WILLOW GARDEN IS CALLED A SALLEY GARDEN IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND

"Salley" or "sally" is a form of the Standard English word "sallow", i.e., a tree of the genus Salix

It is also close in sound to the Irish word saileach, meaning Willow.

Below is a link to a sung version to a beautiful Irish song "Down by the Salley Garden"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=027ZJX5XVjs

WILLOW USES

BASKETRY

GARDEN ART AND STRUCTURES

PLANT SUPPORTS

BIODEGRADABLE COMPOST BINS

BIRD FEEDERS

CUT STEMS FOR FORCING

FENCES, FEDGES AND WATTLES – LIVE AND DRIED WILLOWS

SCREENS AND WINDBREAKS

HERODOTUS DESCRIBED CORACLES BUILT WITH WILLOWS

IN THE 5TH CENTURY BC

ARTIST’S FINE CHARCOAL

FOOD FOR BOVINES, RABBITS AND GOATS

SPEARS FOR ATLATL THROWERS

EVEN CRICKET BATS

LIVING STRUCTURES

DOMES, TUNNELS, CHAIRS, ARCHES, TEMPLES, TEE-PEES

WOVEN TREES IN CONTAINERS = "HARLEQUIN TREES"

CHILDREN’S PLAYHOUSES

CHICKEN AND RABBIT TUNNELS TO HIDE FROM HAWKS

'LIVING CATHEDRALS'

RIVER AND STREAM BANK RESTORATION

WILLOWS ARE USED EXTENSIVELY FOR RESTORING ERODED OR DISTURBED BANKS.  THEY ARE ONE OF THE FEW WOODY PLANTS THAT  ROOT QUICKLY AND EASILY FROM CUTTINGS; THUS MAKING SUCH PROJECTS MUCH CHEAPER THAN USING ESTABLISHED PLANTS.

http://www.habitat.noaa.gov/restoration/techniques/srrestoration.html

PHYTOREMEDIATION

CLEAN UP TOXIC WASTE SITES BY ABSORBING

CHEMICALS AND HEAVY METALS AND NEUTRALIZING THEM.

WILLOWS ARE BEING USED TO CLEAN UP POLLUTED INDUSTRIAL SITES

WASTES OF COAL MINING AND BURNING AND OTHER MINING WASTE


WILLOWS CAN BE GROWN UNDER WALNUT TREES AS THEY ARE NOT AFFECTED BY THE CHEMICAL JUGLONE THAT WALNUTS PRODUCE

BIOFUELS

FOR BURNING DIRECTLY AND TO MAKE ETHANOL

WILLOWS ARE ENVIRONMENTLY SUPERIOR TO CORN FOR ETHANOL. THEY DO NOT HAVE TO BE PLANTED EVERY YEAR AND DON'T NEED  THE USE OF WEEDKILLERS AND POISONOUS PESTICIDES TO GROW

MEDICAL USE

ANCIENT EGYPTIANS, ASSYRIANS AND HERODOTUS (5THC BC)

DESCRIBED USING WILLOWS AS A PAIN KILLER

ASPIRIN WAS FIRST DERIVED FROM SALICIN FROM SALIX

NATIVE AMERICANS CHEWED WILLOW STICKS FOR TOOTHACHE

AND OTHER PAIN

SALICYLIC ACID FROM WILLOWS IS USED TO CONTROL

DANDRUFF AND WARTS

SALICYLIC ACID WAS THE FIRST CHEMICAL ROOTING AGENT

FOR HARD-TO-ROOT PLANTS OTHER THAN WILLOWS.

THIS WAS FOLLOWED BY INDOLE BUTYRIC ACED (IBA)

AND ALSO FOUND IN WILLOWS AND STILL WIDELY IN USE


OTHER USES

BIODEGRADABLE COFFINS AND URNS FOR ASHES



Willow in other languages


WILLOW = SAULE = WEIDE = SAUCE = SALICE = ива = Yángliǔ = YANAGI

   English     French     German    Spanish     Italian     Russian   Chinese   Japanese


SEILEACH  =  HELYG  = SELJE  = VIDE  =  PADU = WILG = עֲרָבָה

         Scottish       Welsh     Norwegian   Swedish   Finnish    Dutch   Hebrew



Facts About Vermont Willow Nursery

We offer 150 different willows; this is by far the largest willow offering in the country. Our complete Salix collection of near to 450 is larger than the collections of any nursery, Arboretum or Botanic Garden in North America!

We offer 20 native North American species, 4 cultivars and 2 hybrids. Largest such offering in the country!  See our "BEST WILLOWS FOR".... page!

Follow us on Facebook


The Wonderful World of Willows

Vermont Willow Nursery

Salix candida male selection. Newly listed in 2019, still in short supply, but we couldn't resist offering it. I found this while botanizing with my mentor Dr. George Argus a few years ago in a swamp near his home in Ontario. Must have moist soil!

Salix babylonica 'Sunny Twist', a Curly Willow developed at SUNY Syracuse that has proved very popular.

Salix purpurea 'Nancy Saunders' is a another popular variety with the reddest stems of any purpurea.

Salix gracilistyla 'Mt Aso', our best-selling willow. Easy to see why! Sells out every year even though we keep planting more! Cut stems will flower for Valentine's Day!

Cut stems of Giant Pussy Willow and the

Black Pussy Willow  what a treat in February!

Vermont Willow Nursery and Farm is for Sale: Update

Due to Stay-at-Home requirements of the State of Vermont we have put the sale of our Fairfield farm property and Vermont Willow Nursery on hold until the pandemic restrictions are lifted, permitting farm and business visits.

Over the past year we have been contacted by enthusiastic entrepreneurs that see this business as a great opportunity to get away from the rat-race of urban living and have a sustainable life style in an secluded pastoral setting.


We had the pleasure of working with volunteer apprentices who joined us for part of this truncated shipping season. Through snow, wind and rain these noble souls experienced all aspects of the business, they remain interested potential buyers.


We are waiting for the professional evaluation of the property as a farm-based business operation, not just a country residence. We are resigned to be here and work with any new buyer for the next two years through the harvest and shipping season of 2022. It is Michael's intention to continue to photograph and study willows in his collection.


We have lots of ideas about where to enlarge the willow production to existing open acres. We know where to go next to expand business opportunities. This is a unique business in the Unites States, none other has ever offered so many willows for sale and so many ways to use them.



Please contact Sonia or Michael at willowmanvt@me.com

Using 1000 Salix miyabeana rods Michael built this 275ft Fedge,

April 2016, in Greenwich, CT.  More info at: sleepy cat farm fedge.

We cannot ship to Europe

The EU has a ban on all willows from the US. This is due to a pest called Xylella that infects grapes and olives; willow is an alternate host.

Bulletin June 1, 2020


We are extending the 2020 shipping season into the Autumn. In late October early November we intend to harvest and ship to customers in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7-11. Our revised inventory is up and active today.


We are also taking orders for Spring, shipping in March-through May 2021.


Thank you for your patience and support during the pandemic. Stay well while spending time self-isolating in your gardens and enjoying the beauty of spring, then summer.


Please note, we are out in the growing fields all day and not available by phone. Email is the best way to communicate with either of us. Thank you.

our e-mail address:

willowmanvt@me.com