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Growing Salix caprea - goat/pussy willow

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Joined 2012-05-23

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In my small garden I would like to grow a Salix caprea as I understand they are loved by bees.  As this is a tree of large proportions (in excess of 10m) I am considering growing one in a very large pot which it will probably outgrow in a few years even though willows can be pollarded.

Has anyone else tried this?  Does it work satisfactorily?

I only have room for one so should I select a male or female?

Sparrow - Sue

     
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I can only answer from theory rather than practice but I think there are some interesting related issues to this
also I guess I am not helping the questions that much

I have seen Salix caprea in pots in garden centres.Maybe they could answer the question
http://www.dunstonhallgardencentre.co.uk/

Willow is one of the best trees to grow from cuttings but I have heard that pussy willow is an exception to this unless it is a hybrid with grey willow. That said it can be bought as cuttings from eBay and online companies so maybe my information is not too good here.
Cuttings seem cheaper and allow some experimentation

I have asked these sorts of companies which willow they recommend for bees
one company provides a selection pack
http://www.worldofwillow.co.uk/stock_speciality_selection___bees-90_12.aspx?cp=

The sage leaf willow seems to be one they recommend.
It only grows from 5-7 feet
It would be available from Yorkshire Willow in November
http://www.yorkshirewillow-shop.co.uk/index.php

Planting willow on the tributaries of rivers that are likely to flood could may be reduce flood damage and help the bees if done skilfully. I would not be surprised if it did not clean the water a bit as well

     
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Thank you Chriz for your detailed reply.  I believe that the majority of pussy willows sold by garden centres are grafted and grown as weeping standards.  (A personal dislike of mine is anything grown as a standard - roses, bay trees etc.)

What I had in mind was the wild type of pussy/goat willow.  This spring I have seen some growing in a hedgerow so I will see if I can get cuttings from that.  I will then be certain that any cuttings that do root will be pussy willows not the other gender which has minute flowers.

This year, I doubt there were many BBs around to take advantage of the pussy willows.  So now I must get my skates on and see what I can do for next spring.

Sparrow - Sue