Just for fun - willow dome.

John-W-WI

Administrator
Last weekend Jake and I built a willow dome adjacent to our yard. It will be Jakes 'fort" until he is too big to fit in it :)

First we put down a 10' wide piece of fabric:
Willow Dome 2.JPG

Then we laid out the size for rod placement:
Willow Dome 9.JPG

Next we put the main rods in and tied them down:
Willow Dome 18.JPG

Then the lateral rods went in:
Willow Dome 24.JPG

And they are tied in place to finish the structure:
Willow Dome 29.JPG

In the end there is a happy young man:
Willow Dome 42.JPG

By summer I hope it will fill in and be a secret hiding spot!

-John
 

tooln

5 year old buck +
Maybe you should build one for a blind.
 

John-W-WI

Administrator
That is this weekend :) Going to use 6' cuttings, as they are still in storage and kept dormant. the big trees woke up this week!

-John
 

Alpha Doe

5 year old buck +
Buck bed...:)

so I take it that those are alive willows and will grow? :confused:
 

Jim Timber

5 year old buck +
That's sweet!
 
D

dipper

Guest
John you should market your cuttings for this purpose. I could only imagine how much some city slickers would pay for something like that. I bet you could charge a couple grand for a kit like that.

BTW-I get to help you set them up for a couple hundred bucks
 

outdoorstom

5 year old buck +
Great idea! Jake is looking pretty happy!
 

bigeight

5 year old buck +
Awesome project John ! How much of the cutting are you getting into the ground ?

Thanks
 

Terrific_tom

5 year old buck +
Looks like it will be a fun spot for Jake
 

Bill

Administrator
Poor Jake,
Considering the rate of growth of Jake added to the rate of growth of the willow and has this summer to hide.

Cool idea!
 

Alpha Doe

5 year old buck +
Jake seems to be back to his original color...red face paint is gone. :D
 

Deer Kar

5 year old buck +
The dome looks really unique . Keep posting the progress threw out summer. Cool project.
 

John-W-WI

Administrator
Buck bed...:)

so I take it that those are alive willows and will grow? :confused:

They are alive and will grow. Unfortunately the rods had started coming to life (I didn't grow these, I got them from another willow guy) so I knocked some of the buds off while planting them. They'll still make it, but not as well as they would have if they were dormant when planted.

John you should market your cuttings for this purpose. I could only imagine how much some city slickers would pay for something like that. I bet you could charge a couple grand for a kit like that.

BTW-I get to help you set them up for a couple hundred bucks

I've been working on it for a couple of years. But to grow long enough rods in a single season the plants need to be 2 - 3 years old. I'll have quite a few 8' willow rods for living structures for the 2015 season (finally!) A kit like this one sells for about $250 - more if you add a tunnel or other things.

Awesome project John ! How much of the cutting are you getting into the ground ?

Thanks

I did my best to get the rods in the ground 12". My planting bar wasn't big enough around so I struggled but did the best I could.


Poor Jake,
Considering the rate of growth of Jake added to the rate of growth of the willow and has this summer to hide.

Cool idea!

Yeah, he won't fit in there much longer :)


Thanks,


-John
 

Jim Timber

5 year old buck +
Couldn't you plant regular cuttings and prune them back to whips when they're tall enough?
 

John-W-WI

Administrator
Couldn't you plant regular cuttings and prune them back to whips when they're tall enough?

You sure could plant 12" cuttings in a circle and allow them to grow.

It's honestly easiest if the entire rod is a single season of growth. They bend over in a nice arch better. The rods I used on this one had both 1 and 2 year wood. So the bottoms didn't like to bend as much as the top did. That's why it's a little 'volcano' shaped rather than a dome.

I really just planted it to learn from the process. I planted one last year too (and learned a lot :))

-John
 

Jim Timber

5 year old buck +
Aren't you getting that much growth in a year though?

I was thinking you'd plant your circle, grow the season, then prune them back and make the arches. The next year you'd start off with a well developed root system and it'd explode.
 

escpen

Yearling... With promise
What type of willow did you use?
 

John-W-WI

Administrator
Aren't you getting that much growth in a year though?

I was thinking you'd plant your circle, grow the season, then prune them back and make the arches. The next year you'd start off with a well developed root system and it'd explode.

The rods I used for this dome were 8' long. You won't get that much growth out of them the 1st year. They would need to be grown for a season, coppiced (cut back to a nub) and grown another season to get to 8'. Most willows (non-hybrids) will grow 3' - 6' in the 1st season.

Let see a photo of that one

I'll get a picture of it soon. It didn't work all that well. I put a tunnel leading to the dome. The tunnel did well, but the dome not so much. The last foot or two died on many of the long rods. And the siscal twine I used broke half way through the growing season (that's why I used zip ties this year).

What type of willow did you use?

On this one I don't know what kind they were (not my rods). On the one I built last year I used a combination of the following (I simply used the longest rods I had, not necessarily the best ones):

http://www.bigrocktrees.com/Salix-hagensis-10_p_127.html
http://www.bigrocktrees.com/Salix-purpurea-Green-Dicks-34_p_136.html
http://www.bigrocktrees.com/Salix-fragilis-Belgium-Red-41_p_125.html

I'll keep this thread updated as the dome comes to life. I have a few leaves that are an inch or two long right now. It's raining now and going to warm up nicely this week. It should take off soon!

-John
 

John-W-WI

Administrator
Here is a picture of last years dome from a few weeks ago... It's already time to take another picture, as it has filled out a bunch since I snapped this one:

willow-dome.jpg
 
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