• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

austree ..hybrid willows...questions/conversation

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
OK my BIL was pruning his Austree hybrid willows, he put them in a bucket and rooted them and gave me a bunch which I shared with a neighbor. I understande that they are supposed to be a better quality willow that grows upright about 40 to 65 feet, less prone to easy breakage..possibly better for firewood.

As I have just planted 30 or more of these cuttings I was wondering what kind of experiences people have had with them. Willows grow very well here, we have dozens of varieties many native here, and I thought I would give them a try in some remote areas that could use some trees. I do realize that upright willows do provide a lot of wildlife habitat..so that is what I'm thriving for, but also curious as to the firewood benefit...and any other info.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
well I see there is no interest in this thread..however I'll update.

I planted 30 of the austree cuttings during the drought, fortunately we have gotten some rain since and out of the 30, 7 are showing growth, some lots of growth, and there is hope for the other ones. My BIL told me that a friend of his let his cuttings go dry for 3 months and they still grew, so I am hoping that these take..I can always use more trees around here.

The main reason I planted these is for shade and bird habitat, as we lost some large willows when we had our house fire in 2002..and the birds totally loved them.

Of the ones we really needed for quick shade 2 of the 3 took so far, so I'm grateful for that, they'll give shade where desperately needed in my son's yard, and they'll soak up some excess water in the wet spots there..I planted one where our pond overflows and that one took and is doing very well, and 2 along a drainage ditch east of my son's garage, where shade would be nice to shade the garage from blazing sun as well, and they are growing...4 others along the ditch don't show growth at this time. I planted 3 or 4 between us and a neighbor on the property line back by our woods and one is growing, so far. Also planted some in the woods itself, but they don't show growth yet. I also have planted all the rest in the field east of the house where we are trying to reforest..hope they all grow.

I know that these are not the BEST trees, but they will be good for habitat and also provide some mulch materials...shade..the things we really need so they will be good for us.
 
Jay Vinekeeper
Posts: 65
Location: Northwest Lower MI
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Brenda,

I'm looking out my window at an "aussie" tree (Salix alba x matsudana?) that was stuck in the ground as a bare stick about 25 years ago. It is now nearly 50 feet tall, with a truck diameter approaching two feet and a canopy spread of about 30' diamter. I could probably take cuttings from this tree and produce at least several tens of thousands of new trees.

So watch out. Under ideal expression, this will be a very large, very fast growing tree. This tree was within a few feet of a constant water table which it obviously found. Because it was near a garden it has also benefited from the nice things we do to gardens ... mulch, no competition, occasional extra water. The same trees grown under less favorable conditions are very susceptible to debilitating fungal infections and easily die off.

They are a good source of salicylic acid (aspirin) and also act like a root hormone to induce rooting in other plant cuttings. Stick a willow twig in to soak with your grape cuttings and they will benefit.

Other willow species around us, of which there are many, are very useful as browse for animals, especially goats. Plants could be grazed to the ground repeatedly and keep regenerating for a preferred feed.

Thanks for all the good things you do here.

living simply,
vinekeeper
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thanks, exactly what I'm hoping for is large trees for wildlife habitat and for shade for a too sunny area of the property, also for some privacy from a road that is about 800' to the east.

I am aware of how willows grow as we have the swamp willows and weeping willows on the proprety..we want something that will grow fast and replace all the trees that are dying from the emerald ash borers..

I am also aware they aren't the best firewood, but when well seasoned will burn and we heat with wood..so there is a future possibly to keep us warm if all else fails someday.

because we have lost so many large ash to the borer, we need fast growing tall trees for nesting birds..and we know that the birds love willows.

also know that they'll coppice rather well..that if cut down they'll grow multistemmed bushy type growth which is great for privacy (which we need to the east)..and also they will provide good windbreaks when coppiced..willow also makes good crafting materials.
 
Henry Lawrence
Posts: 2
Location: United States
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Summer is the worst time to do the cuttings, so if you had bad success rate that would be why.
When they are dormant, then yes, they could be sitting around for few months and still possibly viable, but I don't see that happening in july and august, they desiccate too fast.
Easy to tell by just using fingernail on bark to see if green or not. They are the fastest growing willow with a blizzard of uses.
In a lot of situations, its best to keep them with one dominant trunk, since they break apart more readily with multiple trunks and shorter lifespan.
They've been in this country only 25 years, so Jay has one of the 'old' ones. I've seen some that old, and are as big as 100 year old oaks in my area.

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Henry, what would be some of the "blizzard of uses"? I have noticed at least 7 or 8 of them growing on MY property, I gave 30 to a neighbor so I'm not sure how his did.

 
Henry Lawrence
Posts: 2
Location: United States
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Main use people are using them for is Windbreaks and Screens, also with that they can help with noise mitigation. It can be used for erosion control, and has been used in buffer strips effectively. In wet spots, can help to suck up the moisture fast, since it is growing so fast. As field breaks, they help wind erosion. It is used frequently as a quick shade tree, plant a couple close together and sling up a hammock. Along hog and cattle confinements, it is used as a visual barrier and offers some odor mitigation. It also is used for phytoremediation. Growing super fast creates a lot of oxygen and creates a carbon sink. Some people are using them in a system to feed livestock the leaves. Possibility I've thought about is using them as living posts. Compared to highly flammable pines for windbreak or screening, using these also can create a firebreak. Hunters are planting them for quick wildlife habitat. They also can plant them together and weave them together to create a living hunting blind. So they also could be created in that same manner into a living fence weaved together. Also I imagine baskets and other crafts it has some use when young. It can be used for firewood, mulch, lumber, pulp, and as a biomass crop.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
wow thanks, great ideas
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic