Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Salix 'Americana'

In the spring of 2007 I decided to grow willows as I had an idea of building fences from willow-rods - and this will be the first of a series about my willows. (More about willow fences later).
Salix 'Americana' was introduced to Britain and Europe from North America where it is extensively grown for basketry and it was one of the five varieties I planted that year.
My first rows of Salix purpurea 'Streamco' and S. 'Americana'. 'Americana' is growing taller and 'Streamco' has somewhat finer rods. Both varieties are very flexible and grow long slender rods, most of which have no branching, and they are some of the willow varieties most willow weavers in North America and Europe know and use.
'Streamco' throws lots of rods from the base of the coppiced plants.
In 2008 'Streamco" produced from 10 to over 30 rods per plant - which I thought was a lot for their second year. All rods were dried as I decided not to plant new stock of that variety this year - so the coming winter I will be experimenting with some weaving.
My harvest of 'Americana' on the other hand, was all cut up for propagation and I planted 1500 new plants.
I am quite happy with the new plants in the field as most are growing well. 'Americana' is not the most vigorous variety the first year - but they are not the slowest either!
A shoot showing off the beautiful bluish, grey leaf colour of the 'Americana'.


  1. Wow, 10 to 30+ rods in the second year! I guess that vigor is why 'streamco' is used in riparian habitat restoration plantings. I don't recall 'americana' growing slender and unbranched here when we tried it. It's interesting how willows respond to different locations. Your willows look great in the photos.

  2. Thanks for this post, Salix. Beautiful photos.

  3. It's inspiring to see your long rows of willow! Do you use it all from one year to the next?

    1. Hi Nancy. By now I have sufficient basketry willow growing so that I will always have some in stock.
      I use some for my own weaving and for workshops/classes that I have here and at other venues and I also sell both dormant willow and dried willow for weaving.

  4. Hi, do you sell cuttings of Salix x 'Americana for propagation? If so, how much? Annepyres @ yahoo . Com (minus the spaces)
    Thank you ;)


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