The black willow is the largest and most common of willows. With a very shallow root system and a natural love of water, the black willow is often to be found along stream banks. It makes an ideal shade tree. A mature willow, 55 – 60 years old will be about 70 feet tall.
Cultivation by Cuttings
Taking a 4 inch cutting of firm new growth and inserting it in a moist but well drained soil is usually sufficient to successfully grow a tree. The cutting should be taken with a very sharp knife at an angle of about 45º to create the largest area for root development and water uptake possible. The black willow contains the chemicals that are associated with rooting so rooting hormone powder is not necessary.
The Best Time and Place
The best time to take cuttings is from June through to August. The cuttings should be placed where the roots will be in water during the growing season. The black willow does not like shade so cuttings should be planted in open areas away from taller plants.
The success rate with cuttings is very high, shade and lack of moisture being the most dangerous conditions to avoid.