Willows are easy to root from cuttings and easy to grow. They make a beautiful addition to your landscape and provide more than adequate shade. They are quick growers with shallow roots that make them difficult to garden under. Because of their soft bark and the natural rooting hormone found in willows, they are easily rooted in water.
Take cuttings from tips of new growth branches with clean, diagonal cuts, and place them in a vase or other type container of water. Willows have a natural plant hormone (IBA), the same hormone that is synthesized in many rooting compounds, which makes willow cuttings very easy to root. In two to six weeks, cuttings will sprout visible roots.
Plant cuttings in pots filled with a well-draining growing medium immediately after roots appear, if taken in the fall. When taken closer to spring, plant cuttings with visible roots directly into soil as soon as the danger of frost has passed.
Grow willow cuttings wherever shade is desired. Willows will tolerate any soil, even soils with poor drainage. Willows are fast-growing trees. In addition to good choices for shade trees, they're also good for preventing soil erosion.