Answer: Willow trees are very easy to propagate, and the process is best begun in the summer by cutting a few pencil-thin shoots from the tree. Strip the leaves off the shoots and cut them into 3" pieces, making sure that each has one or more leaf scars (called nodes). Lay each piece, node side up, on moistened potting soil and cover the ends with additional soil. When a new shoot sprouts from the node, roots will have formed beneath. Your new tree can then be planted in the ground. Or, you can simply take cutting from the ends of branches and start them in water as your friend did. Either way, willows are extremely easy to propagate.
Willows thrive in moist soil and will readily seek out moisture, so keep them planted well away from your septic system and drainfield or you'll be sorry you ever planted them!
The septic system effluent may or may not have affected the tree's health. There's all manner of potential problems in using "gray water" for irrigation, including residues from soaps, bleaches and oils, not to mention bacteria. If water is scarce, try collecting rainwater to use in your landscape when the dry weather arrives.
Good luck with your new willow trees!
Q&A Library Searching Tips