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Author Topic: Growing willow at home  (Read 2964 times)

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Sam

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Growing willow at home
« on: August 10, 2013, 12:36:35 PM »

I know this has vaguely been discussed in a few threads dotted around , but wanted to ask a few questions myself as I was tempted to grow a few in my garden. Being quite young, I will definitely be playing in about 15 years time. The gardens relatively damp and seems to have reasonable conditions to grow willow in. Just a few questions regarding the growing/planting stuff , and if anyone could answer them it would be very helpful and hopefully get me started :).

- In the blog we have in this section it says the trees should be planted relatively close to each other to encourage upwards growth. Just wondering how much distance you would say would be most suitable from sapling to sapling when planted to estimate how many I can fit in the garden.

- What do you use and in what sort of way to rub shoots off when they start to appear on the tree?

- How high up the tree should you stop rubbing shoots off and allow the branches to start growing?

Also just a few questions which are mostly interest but may be important in 15 or so years (when I assume you would hire some kind of local tree surgeon to help you with the trees) time if I do decide to plant some trees  :D.

- For each length of log you cut from the tree (Think they're called rounds and should be about 80cm long?) , how many clefts are they typically split it into (My guess would be 6)?

- How many rounds can you usually get from each tree roughly (I've heard about 4 or 5 but I could be wrong)?

- In what sort of place would you put the clefts to air dry them? If placed in like a standard garage to get down to the required moisture content (just over 10% I've heard) , then whats to stop them continuing drying if not instantly made into a bat instantly.

- Could you replant another tree in the same place or would the previous tree have sucked up too much moisture?

- How difficult are the old stump and roots to remove?

Not sure if I'll actually give it a go but am still interested in seeing the answers even if I don't try :). If I did go through with it , found suitable looking saplings for sale here : http://www.ashridgetrees.co.uk/Hedging-Plants-Trees-Shrubs-Bareroot/large-trees/Cricket-Bat-Willow-Salix-alba-Caerulea

Thanks to anyone who replies :).

 
« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 05:05:15 PM by Sam »
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Sam

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Re: Growing willow at home
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2013, 04:25:22 PM »

Thought is just bump this as its in the busy bats section. I do understand all this knowledge may not be available on this forum!
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Ryan

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Re: Growing willow at home
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2013, 05:00:18 PM »

You get around 6 to 8 blades per round depending on the cleft size. As for the other questions I'm not sure.  It may be worth giving kippax a call, they grow their own willow and deal with willow from planting the tree to a finished bat.
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Buzz

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Re: Growing willow at home
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2013, 08:57:19 PM »

In the blog we have in this section
it says the trees should be planted
relatively close to each other to
encourage upwards growth. Just
wondering how much distance you
would say would be most suitable
from sapling to sapling when planted
to estimate how many I can fit in the
garden.
- What do you use and in what sort
of way to rub shoots off when they
start to appear on the tree?

a sharp knife.

- How high up the tree should you
stop rubbing shoots off and allow the
branches to start growing?

as high as you can!


Also just a few questions which are
mostly interest but may be important
in 15 or so years (when I assume you
would hire some kind of local tree
surgeon to help you with the trees)
time if I do decide to plant some
trees .


- For each length of log you cut from
the tree (Think they're called rounds
and should be about 80cm long?) ,
how many clefts are they typically
split it into (My guess would be 6)?

6-8

- How many rounds can you usually
get from each tree roughly (I've heard
about 4 or 5 but I could be wrong)?

- In what sort of place would you put
the clefts to air dry them? If placed in
like a standard garage to get down to
the required moisture content (just
over 10% I've heard) , then whats to
stop them continuing drying if not
instantly made into a bat instantly.

normally you get about 30-36 clefts per tree.

- Could you replant another tree in
the same place or would the previous
tree have sucked up too much
moisture?

yes you can, trees are best grown near a river/stream

- How difficult are the old stump and
roots to remove?

no idea!

your best bet would be to get the trees planted by Kippax or wrights.
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trypewriter

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Re: Growing willow at home
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2013, 09:30:33 PM »

The old stump and roots can be difficult to remove by hand - I've had experience of doing this when some willows (not cricket) were affected by Honey Fungus - ooh you REALLY don't want to get that.

Honey fungus is a spreading, parasitic fungus that lives on trees and woody shrubs. It is neither small nor a passing fad - the largest single honey fungus so far discovered is nearly 4 miles square (that is 2 miles along each edge) and is several thousand years old. It can be enormously destructive and is capable of killing complete woodlands. Honey fungi infect and kill woody plants. They do this by sending out bootlace-like structures called rhizomorphs which spread just under the soil at a rate of about 1 metre a year. Rhizomorphs can be hard to find so usually the only easily visible sign of honey fungus are mushrooms that appear in winter between November and January on wood (sometimes from roots only a few centimetres under the ground. The mushrooms appear in dense clusters, their caps are sticky when damp and tend to be a yellowish-brown. Young mushrooms are conical but they end up lowered in the centre as they get older. For the mushroom hunters among you, all Honey Fungus varieties have a white spore print. This is crucial for mushroom eaters as there is an extremely poisonous mushroom that looks similar and grows in the same conditions but which has a black spore print.

How does it kill?

If the rhizomorphs get through the defences of their victim, they grow through the tree and then rapidly encircle the cambium layer at ground level, cutting off the supply of sap to branches and leaves and killing it almost instantly. Infected plants such as trees, shrubs, other woody plants and herbaceous perennials suddenly start to die back, or leaves fail to appear in the spring. Resin can seep from the trunks of conifers. A real tell-tale is that plants under attack often flower and fruit better than they have ever done before. And then die. The roots and stems or trunks of affected plants are covered in mycelium, a lacy white fungal sheet. You find this by levering off a bit of bark at or just below ground level (a stout screwdriver is ideal). If there is a white layer and it smells strongly of fresh chopped mushrooms you have identified the cause of death. Having killed their victim, the rhizomorphs then feed on the dead wood which fuels their growth in search of another target.

Treatment.

There is no cure available to the amateur gardener for honey fungus but you can restrict its impact in your garden. Remove infected plants as soon as possible including as much of the root system as possible. If the tree is too big to pull then have the stump ground out until it is at least 8 inches (20cms) below soil level. This removes the food source. Obviously you should get rid of trees that have died for other reasons as well. It is also most important to keep plants healthy by mulching regularly with good organic matter. All plants have some defences and honey fungus tends to attack and kill plants that are stressed, diseased or damaged. The more you improve the quality of the soil in your garden, the healthier your plants will be and the more resistant to honey fungus attack. Quality growing conditions and good garden hygiene cannot be over-emphasised. Plants that are prone to honey-fungus attack can flourish in good growing conditions while those that are supposedly more resistant die in a year or two if conditions are bad.

For the sake of completeness here are lists of plants that are more and less vulnerable to honey fungus.

Prone to attack: Betula (Birch), Cedars, Cotoneaster, Cupressocyparis (Leylandii), Forsythia, Hydrangea, Ligustrum (Privet), Malus (Apples and Crabapples), Peonies, Prunus (apricots, cherries, peaches and plums), Rhodendrons/ Azaleas, Ribes (Currants), Roses, Salix (Willow), Syringa (Lilac), Viburnum, Wisteria.
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Sam

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Re: Growing willow at home
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2013, 09:35:38 AM »

Thanks for the advice Ryan , just sent them a polite email and may follow it up with a call later :). Also thanks for answering a few buzz! Problem with getting wrights/kippax to plant them is I'm not that close to them location wise and I don't think 2 or 3 trees would be worth it very much to them/me.

That honey fungus stuff sounds like a pain if it gets to a single tree  ???.
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