Giant willow And dogwood cuttings

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dipper

Guest
I know John dabbles with dome of these large cuttings in more of a controlled environment. Just wondering if anyone else has, specifically in locations dominated by something like reed canary grass? I purchased a 3 pt. post hole digger this summer, and large cuttings could really improve the habitat in these deer deserts. I've already had success transplanting larger spruce, but getting some deciduous shrubs could be a real game changer.
Competing with canary grass can be an intense, losing battle. If I could get large cuttings growing without much prep work, these places could become prime habitat! I'm thinking 3-4' of cuttings in the ground and 3' above. No plastic, no herbicide, just a hole and bury a stick.
I haven't heard of anyone attempting this, and johns mega cutting threads really tripped a trigger in my head. I'm thinking Sandbur willow, and grey dogwood to start. Maybe some weeping willow too, but I don't have access to large cuttings at this time...
 

wiscwhip

5 year old buck +
dipper, google "truncheon propagation" and see what you come up with. I have looked into this a few times and it appears that most willows and mulberries grow quite well using this method. We are too far north for them, but figs are another one that grows well from large cuttings. I have no idea about dogwood species, but I wouldn't think it would hurt to try them if you can collect the cuttings off your own place for free, not much to lose there. From my research, you can put them in the ground 3'-4', but you only really need about a foot or less above ground. I'm not sure about the no-fuss method you speak of in RC, it can swallow up the most hearty of young shrubs in quick order. I would think at least you would need to mow a path or weed eat a circle and spray the area, just to knock the RC down to allow ample sunlight to the truncheons.
 
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dipper

Guest
My thought is sice the cutting is above the height of the grass, the cutting is going to win. Ive noticed cuttings root as deep as you plant them, but I've never gone deeper than a foot. Since the cutting is 3' down, the quantity of the cutting roots is going to stand up against the grass roots. If that makes sense. Maybe a little ghlyphosate circle around the cutting to make the roots happier as well???
Has anyone noticed rooting as far down to 3' if the cutting is buried that deep? If I can get roots that deep, and foliage above the grass, I can't see how it can't work. Especially in low areas where I want to try it....
 

wiscwhip

5 year old buck +
Maybe a little ghlyphosate circle around the cutting to make the roots happier as well?
That ^^^is all I was really saying, limiting the competition can only help them regardless of all the other variables.
 
D

dipper

Guest
id really like to use a does of oust, but I can't see that encouraging roots on the cutting
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
I think the key is mow, spray, spray, spray, black plastic and willow cuttings. My best luck has been where the black plastic has been in place for years. Pulling it early was not the best choice as the willows were slower to grow. I also sued diamond willow, which I think is Bebb's willow.

It looks to me like sandbar willow does a better job of competing and spreading within RC.
 

homegrownbucks

5 year old buck +
We have had success in rc with large willow cuttings...call them instant trees. We push them in the ground as soon as the ground thaws in spring with good success, late frost has hurt some years.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
If you're running an auger that deep into the ground, will you be able to get the hole filled back in without air pockets? I had a hell of a time planting into a thick weed bed like that. I've never done cuttings, so maybe it's not a big deal. Would a balanced ratio of above ground vs below ground put extra strain on the developing roots?
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
We have had success in rc with large willow cuttings...call them instant trees. We push them in the ground as soon as the ground thaws in spring with good success, late frost has hurt some years.

What type of willows and how big is big?
 
D

dipper

Guest
I have plenty of practice properly securing cedar fencing in the ground, I could handle a few cuttings. That was my grandpas education, and those posts are still damn solid today as ever. You couldn't get away with a loose post, and redoing it only made it worse. Where there is a will there's s way, and I can be a motivated sob.
Half above/below works with foot cuttings, why can't it work with 8'ers?
 

homegrownbucks

5 year old buck +
What type of willows and how big is big?

Its random willow I guess. Some willows naturally grew in around our pond, we cut them off and they coppiced. We use one or two year growth off of that, so its 4 to 7 foot tall but only maybe up to an inch around at the base. We don't trim them down at all just cut them off at the base from the stump and stick them in the ground a foot to 1.5 feet.
 

John-W-WI

Administrator
I have plenty of practice properly securing cedar fencing in the ground, I could handle a few cuttings. That was my grandpas education, and those posts are still damn solid today as ever. You couldn't get away with a loose post, and redoing it only made it worse. Where there is a will there's s way, and I can be a motivated sob.
Half above/below works with foot cuttings, why can't it work with 8'ers?


Sorry I missed this thread.... Just ran into it tonight.

Long cuttings will do reasonably well in RCG. They should be 2' - 4' in the ground, with enough above ground to compete for light with RCG. Preferably 4'+ above ground (or more). 12" cuttings should be planted 10" in the ground (very little above ground), longer cuttings will survive with a minimum of 30" buried as long as the site is wet enough. If RCG is growing on the site, chances are pretty good it is already wet.

It's been my experience that it doesn't matter which willow you choose. They all grow like weeds. I have had VERY limited success with gray dogwood. So much so that stopped carrying it in the store. It's just too slow to establish.

-John
 

foggy

5 year old buck +
We have had success in rc with large willow cuttings...call them instant trees. We push them in the ground as soon as the ground thaws in spring with good success, late frost has hurt some years.

I'd like to give this a try this spring. I have a few wet areas where I could see this working well.
 

homegrownbucks

5 year old buck +
Yup branches and all, I'll try to grab a snow covered pic this weekend
 

wiscwhip

5 year old buck +
Most of the research into truncheon propagation that I have come across says to leave at least one nice branch above ground to ensure that you get at least some leaves, so photosynthesis can take place early on in the rooting/growing stages. I liked the example that one person used to propagate mulberries, 2"+ diameter "stick", 4' long, buried 3' in the ground with 1 foot exposed of the main "branch", and 1 secondary branch about 18"-2' that still holds a healthy amount of leaves. This is what I would try if it were me.
 

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Bucks&Ducks

5 year old buck +
Is there anyway to get these cuttings that deep without an auger? Drill with drill bit?

Also if you have a high water table at the time will it drown out these cuttings? I want to put some more willows in our swamp to fill in the bare spots. But there is usually either water in the spring or atleast water right below the surface.
 

foggy

5 year old buck +
I have used an 18 volt DeWalt Drill to drill 2 and 3" diameter holes in the soil.......to a depth of about two feet. I bought a small soil tool at the garden show in Mpls that is designed for this and for cultivating. Looks like a storm anchor (which I think would work too). I drilled holes under my apple trees to supply fertilizer and for lime (at Sandburs suggestion).

I've also vacuumed holes in the ground with my shop vac to about 4 feet deep....but I would not reccomment this for multiple holes. :D

Thirdly, I made a tool to collect soil samples by using an old carpenter drill bit and an extension in my codless drill. Works SLICK. See photo below.
P1000084.jpg
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
When it is wet in the spring I use a crow bar and jab it in the ground. I could get a pretty good sized cuttiing about 18 inches into the ground.
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
I was doing some reading about black willow. It might be a good choice for RC ground if I could identify it.

Evidently whitecrack willow is a naturalized hybrid. I suspect it is the willow tree we often see on old farmsteads. I have one broken down one on this old homestead.

what if one would cut a willow tree and drag it out on a swamp during the winter. Would it catch silt, take root, especially if in a flowage, and create an island over years?

One other thing I read was that sandbar willow can grow from multiple points along the stem. Might be a good thing to try some long cuttings shoved in the ground at an angle or more parallel to the surface, especially if you have good weed control above it.
 

homegrownbucks

5 year old buck +
Here is what we harvest, coppiced willow along our pond:


You can see them scattered in the valley bottom:






And a pic of our mini nursery where I will cut the poplar here to plant as giant cuttings:
 
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