The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Willows

Question: I have an area where willows are growing wild and I would like to thin them out and spread them out. I have 10 aceres and some of the areas have trouble with water. I have heard that willows can help with this so I would like to put the in those areas. None of the trees are over 6 feet high or more than 2 inches around. I don't want to disturb them if all I will do is kill them, because they are quite pretty.

Answer: I'm afraid it might be really difficult to move any plant with a trunk more than a half-inch or so in diameter. You might try moving some of the small "whips", or thin shoots. Generally, smaller plants transplant better anyway, so they'd probably catch up to larger transplants anyway. You might want to wait until the weather cools down in the fall, to minimize stress from hot, dry weather.

Your state's Department of Natural Resources or a similar agency may sell willows and other stream-bank stabilizing plants at very reasonable rates. Try contacting them and see what they have to offer, and when.

Good luck!

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