Braiding yourself with willow branches


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Wicker willow wickerwork is natural and timeless. Wicker and purple willows (Salix viminalis, Salix purpurea) are particularly suitable for weaving, because they are particularly flexible and enjoyable. But also silver willows (Salix alba) are well suited for weaving. To keep the cut branches supple and elastic, place them like flowers with the lower end in a water tub. Dried rods become pliable again by a one-day water bath. Screening elements or garden decorations made of willow branches are best built between November and March, when the rods are still without leaves.

Beeteinfassung or privacy element

For the basic construction, cut thicker branch pieces than posts to uniform lengths. Posts for a bed enclosure should be about 60 inches long. For a screen you need stronger, at least 2.40 meter long round poles, which also withstand a certain wind pressure (building materials trade).

Calculate per running meter facing three to four poles. The branch pieces are first sharpened on one side, so that they penetrate better into the ground. Depending on the length, use a wide hammer to hit the piles 30 to 50 centimeters deep into the ground. If the soil is too firm you should use a bur, or drive the holes into the ground with a thick iron rod.

Wicker fence tulips

From the low enclosure to the privacy screen: With willow rods you can build almost anything

The right technique

When the basic construction is finished with vertical piles, the two to three meter long, one to two year old willow branches are fixed by the post row. You create different braiding patterns by either weaving each new rod offset from the previous one, or by passing several rods one above the other in the same order through the posts. Finish each willow rod at the height of a pole and attach to this pole with a new rod. If the protruding piece does not reach the next post, you can either cut it off or bend it and put it vertically behind the post into the existing wickerwork.

Willow Rods: The right handling

Willow poles quickly grow roots in moist soil in sunny places and repopulate. The young branches can either be regularly woven into the basic structure or the entire structure cut back regularly like a hedge. If the posts on your bed frame are not going to repel, you can either debark the willow sticks or use a different type of wood that will not deflect. Beautiful straight sticks with a lesser probability of growing, for example, forms the hazelnut. Branches made of oak, robinia or sweet chestnut are particularly durable because they do not rot so quickly when they come into contact with the ground.

The willow teepee

Willow Tippi child

Weidentipis are ideal shade dispensers for the sandpit

Weidentipis - named after the conical Indian tents - are easy to build and extremely popular with children. Dig some long, two to three year old willow branches along the circular ground plan and tie the upper ends together with a coconut rope. Alternatively, you can of course also intertwine the tips of the willow branches so that the tent gets a dome-shaped roof. Then you weave thinner willow rods horizontally through the tent poles - either close to each other, or at some distance, so that enough light can penetrate.

So you come to willow branches

There are several ways to obtain willow branches. For several years now, many municipalities have been planting new pollard alleys as compensation measures for construction areas along ditches, streams and riverbanks. These trees must be cut back vigorously every two to three years to retain their typical shape. If you take the pruning of these pollard willows, you can usually take the willow branches home for free. Appropriate information and permits can be obtained from local communities, nature conservation authorities, water management offices or nature conservation associations. Alternatively, you can buy willow branches from specialized suppliers.

Wicker wicker fence

A fence made of diagonally intertwined willow branches develops within a few years into a dense hedge

Simply pull the willow tree by yourself

If you often need willow branches and have a larger garden, you should plant your own pollard willow trees. This is very fast and is very easy: Obtain vigorous 3- to 5-year-old, about 1.80 meter long branches of wicker and dig them until the end of February in a humid place in the garden about 30 centimeters in the ground. The upper trunk end should be sealed with a wound closure agent.

Willow draw drawing

Cut a strong willow branch and put it unrooted into moist soil

Harvest willow branches

In the course of spring, the willow sticks take root and propel up again.The shoots are so strong after only two years that you can harvest them for the first time. Side branches that run out halfway up the trunk should be removed regularly. With the planting of pollard willow you also make an important contribution to nature conservation. The older and gnarled the trees become, the more valuable they become as a habitat and breeding ground for many species of insects and birds.

Video Board: Making Willow Baskets.

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