Sunday, January 6, 2019


Planting basketry willow for the first time you may have a few questions and I will try to answer some of them here:
1. How many do I need to plant for me to have enough for baskets?
     Well, that depends on several factors such as:
    a) Willow variety and growing conditions: Different willow varieties produce differently.
        Some have a few rods per plant and some have a lot. Some produce mostly larger rods and
        some produce mostly shorter rods. 
        Growing conditions vary from location to location and also from year to year.  Moisture, temperatures,
        soils are just some deciding factors.
    b) Basket designs: Different designs require different sizes and amount of weavers.
    c) Size of baskets: Small baskets require smaller weavers and larger baskets larger and/or more weavers
    d) How many baskets annually
        If you have already made your first few baskets, you will have an idea about what you want to do
        and be able to make decisions based on that. If not, I suggest that you start with  50-100 plants and find
        out if you want more later.
2. How much space do I need in the garden to grow willows for basketry?
    Of course that also depends on how many plants you want. In general though, you need much less space
    than most people think.
    Basketry willow is planted close to force the willow to grow long, straight rods without side shoots. 
    I plant the willows in the field 50 cm (20") between the rows and 25 cm (10") apart in the row.
3. Can I plant the willow in a shaded spot?
    Willow requires sun to perform well. So to give your willow the absolutely best growing conditions, you
    need to give them at least half a day of direct sun during the summer.
4. Does willow require a lot of water?
    As the dormant willow cuttings, that you plant, doesn't have any roots yet, it is very important that the
    soil surrounding them stay moist ALL THE TIME during the first growing season. After that they don't
    require more watering than anything else in your garden.
    It is good idea to plant the cuttings in some kind of mulch. See blog post about propagating willow.
5. Which of your willow varieties are best for basketry? 
    The willow varieties listed under "Willows good for basketry" are ALL good for that.
     However, I do have my favourites and this year we are offering 2 different selections of my best basketry
     willow as a package. 
     Information about the selections here on my website.

Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.


  1. How far from structures should basketry willows be planted?...I have a very small lot with a shed, house and fence to work around. Thanks

    1. salixlene@gmail.comAugust 22, 2019 at 8:02 PM

      In general you should always be cautious when planting willow if it is close to foundations, septics etc. Nobody will guarantee that it won't cause problems, but most sites will tell you that if the foundation, pipes etc are in good shape (without cracks) you won't have a problem. In addition to that it is not a large willow tree that you are planting, I suppose? Most of the basketry willow varieties are shrub willow and would never grow into a tree. You may be able to find additional information on this topic on-line.

  2. My husband and I are just starting our "Willow Growing Business". Aptly the name of our home town is Willard:)
    Can you recommend a packaging for shipping, and the shipping method most safe for these rods? thank you

  3. I don't mind answering your business question, but please send me your detailed, specific question to my email address which you can find on my website.


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