Carolyn Bailey

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since Dec 01, 2021
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Recent posts by Carolyn Bailey

Good afternoon, and you're very welcome! I'm far from an expert, I suspect true artisans have a much more informed process- but I don't coppice the Scouler's. The patch I frequent isn't on my property, but it's so vigorous when well placed that it could be a good candidate.

Hooker's might be a different story? I unfortunately don't have much to contribute there re: cultivation, I had no luck with it at home (I'm in Oregon's Willamette Valley, probably too hot/ not enough fog) and the coast stands I visit aren't doing very well lately. But when I was lucky enough to try some in the past, I found it easier/ more pliable to work with than the Scouler's, and less tall. The sunniest stands tend to stay shorter and I'm sure cultivation keeps them shorter, too. An annual winter prune taking 1/3 of the branches might be enough to keep it producing nicely (similar to Red Osier dogwoods if you've done that?)

I'm unfamiliar with burning willows. I wasn't aware they tolerated fire, assumed they wouldn't be adapted for it given usually wet conditions they grow in. I'm iffy about a full coppice on a native species, only because I garden for wildlife and try to disrupt the critters as little as possible, but would be curious to hear if it works.
2 years ago
Depends on whether you're growing your own, or harvesting offsite IMO.

Obligatory disclaimer: as always, be careful of how much you take from native species. Also note that most folks prefer the non-natives for basketry, and several are naturalized to the PNW; Salix purpurea is a favorite for weaving that won't be a huge loss if you accidentally over-harvest.

Anyway, one of the best I know of in west WA is Hooker's Willow (Salix hookeriana.) Tends to stick within a few miles of the coast, like most willows it likes good sun and a wetter soil but seems to take sand or clay equally happily.

If you're stuck with drier soil, Scouler's Willow (Salix scouleriana) takes good sun and more average garden moisture, but might try to take over your space.

Hope this helps!
2 years ago