‘Mt. Aso’ is a selection of the Asian species Salix chaenolmeloides, the giant pussy willow (photo just above), “which itself is just unbelieveable,” he adds, “and also has a lot of flowers–plus this species did well despite our dry year last year.” These start blooming in February, even in Michael’s northern Vermont location.
a preposterous number of varieties. The hardest part with this ultra-easy plants: figuring out which one to buy. (Hopefully Michael’s recommendations above are a help.)
The nursery sells 8-10 inch dormant, unrooted cuttings in bundles of five; you simply insert most of the twig when it arrives in the ground (like all but the top couple of inches).
They also sell long rods (again, unrooted cuttings) for making living fences, or domes and tunnels in either 7- or 9-foot lengths (depending whether you’ll be shipping Fedex or UPS, respectively). Those get inserted a foot into the ground upon arrival, spaced a couple of feet apart.
One year I ordered two bundles of shorter cuttings, stuck them in a corner of one raised bed in my vegetable garden, and now I have 10 rooted young shrubs ready to transplant into their permanent positions. Easy! How to order. (Cuttings and ‘Britzensis’ willow photos courtesy of Vermont Willow.)
“pruning willow, and the best salix varieties” was first posted here