I often get asked about what the best willow varieties are. I really can never give a straight answer to that. Willow will grow different in every location, depending on climate, weather conditions and soil composition.
My advice is to start growing a wide range of varieties for a few years and try them out on your own land. Take cuttings from varieties that do well to increase your stock. Doing well for willow is not growing tall. You will need to look for flexible and easy rods to use, no or hardly any disease during the growing season and the size of the rods. You don’t want rods that are too long or thick for basket making!
In this video I show you my favourite willow varieties I have selected and tried over the last 10 years. These are consistent in their yield, very flexible rods and I have also selected for colour of the bark.
The varieties are:
-viminalis: because it dries yellow
-Purpurea Brittany green and blue: very consistent yield, very flexible and thin rods.
-Daphnoides: for purple colour.
– Purpurea Irish black: very flexible, consistent yield, stays green in colour when dry.
-Purpurea Green dicks: lovely, thin, easy to work.
-Alba Vittelina: nice brown in colour.
-Triandra Flanders red: nice brown colour, flexible and good yield.
-Brown maul: flexible and reliable.