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.



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:



Streambank Restoration

The best willows from streambank restoration are S. interior, S. purpurea (all selections except 'Gracilis', Sericea and  plus native species from your area.

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.

click here for more information.



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.


Ontario Canada 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 basktrey is Frances Thorn. She thoroughly researches the varieties that work best for various purposes and what grows well.


A third Canadian resource is the Branch Ranch run by Jack(ie) and Jill another pair of very talented willow women! Their Website is simple and easy to read. Their creations a delight to the eye.



HOME          VARIETIES          ABOUT US          BEST WILLOWS FOR...          STRUCTURES       


'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:





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: http://mrbrownthumb.blogspot.se

But please come back!


'The Willows'

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 (ancienttreeforum.co.uk) 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

Michael Dodge

          Vermont Willow Nursery, 1943 Ridge Road North, Fairfield, VT 05455-5631

Irina V. Belyaeva

          Royal Botanic Garden (retired), 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)

Authors: Irina V. Belyaeva, Olga V. Epantchintseva, Rafaël H.A. Govaerts, Kevin McGinn, John Hunnex4 and Yulia A. Kuzovkina.


The nomenclature and taxonomy of the taxa related to S. vitellina L. are clarified. Two new combinations, Salix × fragilis L. f. vitellina (L.) I.V.Belyaeva and S. × pendulina f. salamonii (Carrière) I.V.Belyaeva, are made and one new form, S. × pendulina f. erythroflexuosa I.V.Belyaeva, is described. Twenty-seven names are synonymised to the three accepted names including seven as new synonyms. Eleven new typifications are made. Fifty-one existing cultivars are assigned to the three taxa accepted by the authors and brief descriptions of them are provided




of Michael Dodge