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Livestaking – Sticking sticks in the ground and watching them grow

 
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Location: Southeast NE - Zone 5b
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Bumping this thread with a question about willows.

I purchased 60 15" cuttings from a nursery that were shipped by USPS. The planting instructions say to soak in a bucket of water until roots start to form (1/8").

For various "life" reasons (and many literal rainy days ahead) we don't necessarily have time to wait until roots to form and were instead going to plant on Friday after 36 hours of soaking.

From what I've read on this thread and others, the soaking isn't necessary, and with the rain ahead, I think there will be plenty of moisture in the heavy clay soil.

Does anyone with experience think this plan is okay? We certainly can wait, if necessary. Just would rather not.
 
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 You should have good results. You will have a few more perhaps not make it but most will.
I have trees all around my property where I prune my fruit trees and just cut and push trimmings in the soil just outside my property, about 1/2 grow well with no help from us.
I would make sure you water your willows when there is no rain, it will probably take a month or two to get a good root system started.
 
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This is my [limited] experience with putting sticks in the ground. I've done it with:
- prunings of raspberries
- prunings of elderberries.
I added nothing but water and they took easily in my sandy soil. Eyeballing it, I had nearly 100% success with elderberries but about 80% success with raspberries. The elderberries went directly in the ground whereas the raspberries were placed in a plastic containers with holes in the bottom. The soil was also not my garden soil but some compost/starting mix a friend makes. I wanted to keep them close for monitoring.
As you see, I said "prunings" because I had specimens growing that needed pruning, so in March, after the snow was gone and the frost was out of the ground but before real growth started appearing I took cuttings and immediately put them in soil, in the garden, with a heavy leaf much to preserve moisture and prevent weeds. They were at the bud stage, with no green showing. We've had a number of frosts since then and both elderberries and raspberries were subjected to them. That should help folks who are not too sure when to do it according to the calendar.

Now, about the willow water, I also have some questions you might help me with as willow water is cheap and I'd rather have 100% success, right?.
*- Will any willow work? are some willows better than others?
*- We know that Salicylic acid is the principal metabolite of Aspirin and some folks who do not have access to willows might want to use aspiring instead. Does anyone know how much aspirin would give us a good effect on root growth?
Would willow water help the formation of sweet potato slips?, of basil cuttings? of tomato cuttings? of any cutting?
These are typically done in a tall glass of water. Would willow water be effective *after* the cutting is in the ground? Would it be possible to get more sweet potatoes, bigger sweet potatoes? Could young fruit trees benefit from getting a watering of "willow water" as it might boost root formation?
I'm sorry to have more questions than answers but I know I'm in a great group at Permies, so have at it!
 
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