Falling willow

Falling willow

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Question: how to fix a willow to the ground

I have a quickly grown twisted willow tree that has fallen twice since the rains. the gardener told me to prune it and give him a semi permanent support but then he disappeared (the gardener!) and I would like to do it myself. can you help me?

Falling willow: Answer: how to fix a willow to the ground

Dear Serena,
a tree that falls at every storm needs support, but first you should try to "fix" the root system to the soil, which is probably too light or crumbly, which, together with the probable lack of root development, will cause poor anchoring the tree to the ground. Then, try to reposition the tree well in its place, and with the feet go to compact the soil around the stem, so that the plant is well fixed in depth; without obviously burying the trunk in the ground, it simply tries to compress the soil, to make it more firm and compressed. When this is done, get two long poles, about the size of the trunk of your tree, and a couple of shorter stakes, only 40-50 cm long; then, insert the two largest and longest poles at the sides of the stem of the willow, keeping at a distance of about 20-30 cm from the sides of the stem; fix one or two horizontal posts on the vertical poles, nailing them or tying them with raffia; then, using the raffia or the rubber wire, fix the stem of the willow to the horizontal posts, firmly, but avoiding tightening too much on the bark of the willow; rubber thread and raffia can be found in many nurseries, or in garden centers, they are also often used in the garden, to fix the seedlings to the guardians. It would be advisable to fix the tree in the upper part of the trunk just below the foliage, but it depends on how tall it is and how it develops, it avoids fixing it in the lower part; the two vertical poles must be well planted in the ground in depth, because they will have to bear most of the weight of the plant in case of strong wind or thunderstorms. Over the years, your tree will widen its root system, and will no longer need supports, so in a few years you will be able to remove them; in the meantime, the stem will develop, and therefore you will have to remove the raffia or the rubber thread every year and re-fix your tree, or risk that in the long run the thread will go to affect the bark, creating a bottleneck, which besides being unsightly , it does nothing good for the health of your willow. If you want to get an idea of ​​what these supports are, look for a park in the city with a young constitution: local governments very often place young saplings in parks, which are immediately equipped with support poles, to avoid having to check them often in the first months development, or that fall at the first storm.