by Alison Syme
If you like Willows and would like to know more about them, we encourage you read this informative, well-written book.
"Haunters of waterways and guardians of hedgerows; jewels of the garden and common sallies in the fields: willows are at once the most poetic and practical of plants."
For millennia they have played a key role in cultures across the northern hemisphere, forming baskets, furniture, fences and walls; treating illnesses; and becoming objects of artistic celebration in Monet’s paintings and Shakespeare’s tragedies. The genus Salix is now increasingly used for soil remediation, stabilization and biofuels, highlighting willows continued importance today.
Although willows have been put to manifold practical uses, Alison Syme argues powerfully that we must also heed their poetic lessons: willows have much to teach us about living, dying and loving; as well as hybridizing and enriching our world while protecting the environment.
A must read for anyone passionate about plants and willows in particular.
What to do with your cuttings when you get them?
Arctic and Alpine Salix
We have started collecting Arctic and Alpine Salix as part of a group of Botanists, Botanical Garden Curators, University Professors, and Horticulturists dedicated to preserving these treasures. We intend to seek and share with each other our genetic material; our goal is to preserve by collecting, propagating and sharing. We will eventually have an informational Website with many photographs and detailed information about the species; plus botanical keys of how to identify these Salix.
If anyone has unusual species that fall into this category we would love to trade with you. We may have extra plants available in the future that we will sell to raise funds in order to purchase more species.
'Willows - The Genus Salix'
by Christopher Newsholme
Simply the best general book on Willows available.
A comprehensive survey of willows (genus Salix), extending from tiny Alpine and Arctic plants to the huge specimen trees found in water meadows, including essential botanical distinguishing features and a comprehensive glossary. The opening sections of the book cover the origin and global distribution of willows. The management and cultivation of willows is extensively detailed and the author addresses himself to an international readership. A range of willows for specific sites - such as ornamental trees for large or small gardens and tiny willows for sink gardens - has been selected with basic information on their management as well as concise discussions and illustrations of the origin, hardiness, growth rate and outstanding features of each. Could use more photos and illustrations; some of the names used have changed. I offered to write an update of this book, but the publisher wasn't interested.
link to Amazon below:
We can supply dormant cuttings and rods of Salix interior, S. purpurea selections for this purpose if the problem is not too severe. If there’s a serious problem, use S. nigra or S. xfragilis that I can also supply.
The best tool for making holes is a 6' crowbar and it’s much easier if two people work together on this project. Work out how big an area you need to repair and then at 18 to 24" spacing you can work out how many cuttings you'll need. If the soil is dry water in the cuttings, then firm the soil around the cutting. This work can be done anytime from early November until early spring, before Willows start growing.
Willows of North America
by George Argus Phd
George is a Canadian botanist and dear friend who is the foremost expert on North American Salix. In the impressive Flora of North America, George has written the pages on the Willow/Poplar family Salicaeae in Volume 7. Fortunately these pages are available on-line at:
Be warned, these pages are for serious students of the genus, not for those with a casual interest in Willows.
Canadian Willow Mavens
For Canadian willow enthusiasts we recommend our friend Lene Rasmussen at Lakeshore Willows. Lene is a lovely person and very talented with her willow creations-both living and dried. Lene also ships to the United States and is one of the few willow growers that grows and dries her own willows for sale; most dried willows are imported from Europe or the Far East.
Another Canadian with a great talent for basketry is Frances Thorn. She thoroughly researches the varieties that work best for various purposes and what grows well.
The Wonderful World of Willows
Vermont Willow Nursery
'horticultural how-to and woo-woo'
the source of organic gardening inspiration
margaret roach, head gardener.
For the few gardening people who do not know about Margaret Roach's incredible website and blog
A Way to Garden.com you are in for a real treat.
Margaret is one of the top horticultural communicators in the country. Every week(!!!) she puts out a fascinating mixture of how-to, where-to, what-to, combined with her stunning photography. Margaret was the editor of 'Martha Stewart Living Magazine' so she brings a great deal of knowledge, experience and sophistication to her personal blog. Margaret also knows everyone there is to know in the horticultural world! Her NY State garden is open to the public through The Garden Conservancy and is well worth going out of your way to visit.
Early in February 2016 Margaret interviewed Michael by telephone on how he got into Willows and about using Willows for living structures. We won't include a link to Margaret's blog; as we know once you go there you might not come back (it's easy to find)!
Here is a link the text of the interview:
Here is a link to the podcast:
MAKE YOUR OWN ROOTING HORMONE
FROM WILLOW TWIGS
You may have heard about this but didn't know how to do it. mrbrownthumb has laid it out for you.
Check out his blog:
But please come back!
by Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951)
If you enjoy reading scary other-world stories then we suggest you read this book written in 1907.
It is a novella (short story) and I guarantee you'll think twice about camping in a willow patch.
Much worse than the Whumping Willows of J. K. Rowling.
'Beauty and the Beasts'
by Allen Bush
Below is a link to the Gardening Blog of 'Garden Rant'.
In this rant Allen takes on the horrible practices of maiming trees because so-called landscape maintenance crews think it is the "right thing to do" and butcher trees that are so much more attractive if left unpruned. Allen is especially angered by the hacking that takes place to Crepe Myrtles in the South--a totally unnecessary practice. He does pardon those of us that pollard willows and even starts the rant with a photo of ancient willows pollarded in the Netherlands.
Allen also provides links to an organization in the English Lake District called the Ancient Tree Forum () who, as their title states, preserve the wonderful old trees I grew up with as a child. There is also a link to an article by Peter Quelch titled 'The Pollards of the Lake District'--an interesting read with beautiful photos of ancient pollarded trees.
How to make Artists Charcoal from Willow Sticks
by Sarah Dalziel
Sarah explains how to make charcoal and it sounds pretty easy if you follow her instructions. We are occasionally asked for willow sticks for artists charcoal, but we have no idea which willows make the best charcoal for artists. I have inquired about this and will pass on the information when I get it.
Clarifying Affiliations of Salix gracilistyla Miq.
Cultivars and Hybrids
Yulia A. Kuzovkina
Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Unit-4067,
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-4067
Vermont Willow Nursery, 1943 Ridge Road North, Fairfield, VT 05455-5631
Irina V. Belyaeva
retired from Royal Botanic Garden Herbarium, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE, UK
In this article, published in Hort Science, the authors released the results of their joint effort to clarify the nomenclature of Salix gracilistyla, its cultivars and hybrids. This includes the plant known in the horticultural trade incorrectly as Salix chaenomeloides after the rediscovery of the "real" Salix chaenomeloides, a totally different species.
Link to article below:
The application of scientific names to plants in cultivation:
Salix vitellina L. and related taxa (Salicaceae)
This extremely important article was written by six Salix experts after years of study.
The authors agreed that most willows with yellow stems have this willow in their genetic make-up (including some weeping willows and contorted stem willows). This willow has been called Salix alba 'Vitellina' for many years; but it has been determined that it is a hybrid and is now called Salix xfragilis f. vitellina. (the f. is an abbreviation of the Latin word forma, meaning "form". So this is a cross between Salix alba and Salix euxina, but how the yellow stems appeared is still a mystery!
This and its offspring are some of the most popular of ornamental willows, especially after all the leaves fall off and the stems become brighter with the exra sun they get.
We have updated our nomenclature as a result of this information. 11/2019
our e-mail address: