April 24, 2008

Planting weeping willows in honor of Earth Day

This year, in honor of Earth Day, I decided to add a grove of 25 weeping willow trees to my property.  There is a marshy area in one of the lower fields and I thought this would be the perfect spot for the willows to grow.  Unlike many other trees, weeping willows don’t mind wet conditions.  In fact, they like wet feet, as they say in the plant world.  Because of their strong and extensive root systems, willows are often planted on the banks of streams and rivers to prevent erosion.  They’re also very fast growing, which is another highly desirable trait.  And I just love the way they look with their long, hanging branches and their light and feathery leaves, gently swaying in the wind.  Weeping willows are rather softwood trees and their branches are easily bent and used to make furniture and also woven into baskets.  And who knows - with so many willows growing, perhaps I’ll take up basket weaving myself!

This is a common variety of weeping willow.

Our garden intern, George, worked hard with Wilmer and Chewwang from the ground’s crew to get all the holes dug and the trees planted.

This willow sits nicely in its hole.

Once the burlap was removed from the root ball and the white trunk protection unwrapped, Wilmer feeds the tree with Bio Tone Starter Plus – All Natural Plant Food.  This helps transplants establish faster by increasing root mass and shoot growth.

George checks once more to make sure the tree is standing straight before filling the hole with soil.

One week after planting, the weeping willows are growing nicely alongside the marsh.

Look how green the new leaves look against the bright blue sky!

More ideas for being green:

25 Eco-Chic Tips
Healthy Home: Our Favorite Green Cleaners and More
Weekly Green Living Updates from our newest section on Marthastewart.com, Whole Living