Willow cuttings for sale in the USA

willow cuttings for sale

Dunbar Gardens willow cuttings for sale

Searching for willow cuttings in the United States? Dunbar Gardens has a nice selection of willow cuttings for sale that can be used for basketry, living willow structures, hedgerows and other garden use. You can find the list, prices and details on our website page: willow cuttings. Our interest in willows started with Katherine Lewis’ basket making. She wanted to work with a material that we could grow on our farm. Since the early 1990’s we have sourced willows from growers in the UK and the US as well as friends and fellow basket makers. Along the way we have collected varieties that both grow and weave well.

harvested willow bundles at Dunbar GardensBecause we are growing willows for Katherine’s basket weaving we have an ample supply of fresh willow rods to use for making cuttings. Our goal is to provide good sized cuttings at a reasonable price. Update 2024: We are only selling cuttings for on farm pickup.

Although the number of sources in the United States are limited, there are nurseries on-line to order from and get information. Here are some other sources to compare varieties and prices with what we have for sale.

Vermont Willow Nursery is located in northern Vermont. If you are looking for ornamental varieties their website is a great place to start with all of the great images. They are very conscientious about accurate descriptions and taxonomy. A recent order of cuttings had some curved and small cuttings but still good rooting.

Willamette Willows is located in Eugene, Oregon. New growers with an emphasis on floral varieties.

Willowglen Nursery has been growing willows since 1988. They sell willows, baskets and offer a variety of classes. They sell a limited selection of cuttings as well as live and dried rods. There are not many images on their website but they are easy to correspond with and knowledgeable. Update 2024: Willowglen has retired from willow cuttings sales.

Living Willow Farm is located in Ohio. Good selection of willows for basketry. Make sure you ask for your cuttings to be labeled by species and common name.

Gardeners in the US can also consider buying cuttings from Canada. Shipping across the border requires a phytosanitary certificate which the nursery will provide but charge you for it. Nurseries in Canada are obviously interested in selling to the large number of potential US customers. There are a couple that are worth checking out.

Lakeshore Willows is located in Wainfleet, Ontario. They grow about 30 varieties of willow which they offer as cuttings, living rods, and dried willow for basketry. Lene Rasmussen is a native of Denmark and she has been inspired by many of the willow growers and basket makers in Denmark. Lene is another grower that brings the experience of basketry and working with willows to her business. Update 2024: New owner but still in business.

The Branch Ranch is located in Ontario, Canada. They have just started to sell cuttings to customers in the USA in 2024.

If you do buy from one of these other mail order willow nurseries, let them know how you found them!

Dunbar Gardens willow cuttings selection

willow cuttings approved by Spike


Coppicing basketry willow

basketry willow cuttings

Dunbar Gardens willow cuttings “basketmaker’s package”

So you bought some willow cuttings and you’re wondering how to prune them. Of course you can always read the handy growing tips on our website but the following photos show the essentials to getting started coppicing your basketry willow.

planting basketry willow cuttings

planting basketry willow cuttings

You get your garden soil ready to plant and mark your rows. Insert cuttings with the buds facing up. We give our willow cuttings a slanted cut on the root end to help them slide into the soil and make it easy to decide which end goes down.

basket willow planting

new willow planting

basketry willow plants

first year basketry willows

After a year your willow plants might look like the ones above. I planted these in late May which isn’t optimum for our climate, but shows what they might look like in less than ideal growing conditions. You can most easily prune or coppice them during the winter months when they are dormant. We do most of our cutting from December through March.

first year basketry willow plant

first year’s growth

This is a Salix purpurea plant after one year.

pruning basketry willow

cutting the willow rods

Cut off the stems or rods back to the original cutting.

pruning basketry willow

pruning back the original cutting

pruning basketry willow

pruned back to an inch

I usually recommend leaving a couple of inches of the cutting above the soil level when planting. When you are coppicing the plants after the first year don’t hesitate to cut the original cutting back to within an inch of the ground above a lower stem.

pruning basketry willow

finish cuttings stems off

Cut all the willow rods off the plant. You do not need to leave anything more than an inch of the stool above ground.

first year willow stool

first year coppiced stool

Coppicing the willow close to the ground in the first year gives you a better stool for the long run. The willow stool gets a little higher each year as it matures so it is advantageous to start it out low. It will be easier to prune and hopefully lead to straighter willow. If you have planted through a poly ground cover, you probably want to leave the stool higher.

basketry willow withies

new cuttings from first year’s harvest

The first year harvest is often meager, but you can make your own cuttings from the butt ends to increase your willow planting.

new growth willow stool

new growth from coppiced stool

basketry willow

four year old coppiced willow plant

In three or four years your basketry willow plants will look something like the photo above.

coppiced willow plant

coppiced willow

The willow rods are cut as close as possible to the stool. Clean cuts encourage better growth.

basketry willow harvest at Dunbar Gardens

basketry willow harvest

Before you know it you will be harvesting bundles of basketry willow! If you haven’t purchased your willow cuttings yet, head over to our website to see our great selection.



Blue Streak catkins

Blue Streak catkins

Mention willows and many people first think “pussy willows”. Usually people think of the large catkins that are produced in the spring on Salix caprea, S. cinerea, or S. chaenomeloides, but many of the willows produce attractive catkins. Willows are dioecious, which means that male and female flowers are born on different plants. In addition, depending on the species, catkins are produced before leaves (precocious), at the same time (coetaneous), or after the leaves have formed (serotinous). So it goes without saying that there will be a lot of variation in how different cultivars flower and their ornamental quality.

Sekka catkins

Sekka catkins

Sometimes you get a package deal like these catkins on this Japanese variety that has ‘fasciated’ stems. Other times the catkins are small and almost inconspicuous like the ones below.

Forbyana catkins

Forbyana catkins

For some gardeners, the catkins are the whole reason for having the willows. The catkins are just an extra benefit for us. There is nothing like a cool, sunny day in February or March with the catkins popping on the willows. A little later and a little warmer, the anthers will start to open and bees will emerge to visit the flowers. That’s when I realize I better get working and get the willows cut before they leaf out!  Right now I still have the time to admire the black catkins of melanostachys against the blue sky.

Salix gracilistyla var. melanostachys

Salix gracilistyla var. melanostachys


Willow cuttings

willow cuttings from Dunbar Gardens

willow cuttings from Dunbar Gardens

We have been growing willow for basketry since 1994 at Dunbar Gardens. As Katherine became interested in willow basketmaking, she realized she would need to grow her own materials since very little cultivated willow was available to purchase in our area. In addition, it gave her more choice in selecting the size, color, flexibility and other characteristics of the willow she weaves with. As a result, we have tried quite a number of species and varieties of Salix here and currently have 60 varieties growing. We have planted over ten thousand willow cuttings on our Skagit Valley farm. Willow is easy to propagate in most soils. An eight to twelve inch cutting taken from a dormant one year old rod is planted directly into the ground in Spring. March thru April is an ideal time to plant. We have willows that are useful for basketry, garden trellises, living fences, furniture, and ornamental hedges. Willow is a very useful family of plants!

We have a list and descriptions of some of the varieties that we have had success with on our website. We are now cutting our willows and will begin shipping orders for cuttings next month.