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Is willow invasive when used as a hedge?

(5 Posts)
Beachcomber Sun 23-Mar-14 08:48:17

Hello gardeners. Our house used to be quite isolated and we never bothered putting up fencing or hedges for privacy as we were surrounded by a field. Two plots of the field are going to be sold and built on so we would now like to plant a hedge.

I suspect we want the impossible; fast growing, not too expensive and not too high maintenance.

I wondered if a willow living fence type arrangement could work but wondered if willow can take over in the way bamboo can. Our garden is not huge and I am also a bit worried about root systems damaging pipes, etc.

For information we live in France. Get plenty of Sun and plenty of rain. Garden south and south west facing. Soil fairly sandy.

I t think willow is beautiful and magical the way you can weave it but DH concerned it will be too intrusive. Also don't want to have trouble with it invading the neighbours. Any comments and or experiences gratefully received. Thanks.

EauRouge Sun 23-Mar-14 09:57:56

I think it's fairly easy to control by trimming but you do need to plant it away from drains and buildings because of the roots. There's some basic info here.

Beachcomber Sun 23-Mar-14 11:24:07

Thank you for the link, I see they say 10m from drains or buildings. I need to go and measure the smallest part of side garden to see if we are far enough. Also we need to see where new houses are going to be built.

CuttedUpPear Wed 26-Mar-14 21:50:03

A willow hedge can be lovely. Be aware that you will need to let it grow through the summer and it can be quite wide at that point when the new growth of rods are covering it.

You should cut it back only in the dormant stage, between November and March when all the leaves are off.

Make it by pushing the willow rods in the ground as deep as you can and building a trellis design.

It won't grow like bamboo does. Willow has a reputation for seeking out drains but only if allowed to grow unchecked. If you keep on pruning it correctly every year then in effect you are bonsai-ing it and it won't grow a massive root system.

By the way you'll need to wait until the dormant season again to start planting unless you have your willow rods to hand now.

Beachcomber Thu 27-Mar-14 12:35:08

That is really helpful and reassuring. DH in particular has visions of us being taken to court by neighbors due to willow invading everything and damaging pipes, etc!

I wondered if we were too late to plant it this year and from what you say, it seems we are. Too bad! Will organize for next year...

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