What is Willow Fencing?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2019
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Willow fencing is fencing made from willow, a wood famous for being flexible and very strong. A number of willow fencing products are available for different applications, including rolled fencing and panels people can install quickly for privacy and decoration. Additionally, people can use willow to make a living fence, as willow trees grow very quickly and are easy to train. Nurseries can provide cuttings for creating a living fence, and people can also take them from trees in their area if they are in a region where willows are native.

In the case of fencing made with cut willow, rolled willow fencing is very common. It is made by weaving thin sticks together very tightly in a lattice. Some fences use willow for vertical slats and weave them with nylon to hold the fence together. Others may use willow for the warp and the weft of the weave. Using steam to shape branches, the fence can be decorated with openings and curved shapes, if desired. The most basic rolled fencing simply uses vertical bands of willow tightly woven together with nylon or a similar material to create a solid barrier.


Panels are similar, but rigid instead of flexible. They can be useful when people want a more solid fence. Willow fencing panels may be snapped together to create a fence of the desired length, and it is possible to purchase prefabricated gates to make openings in the fence. Panels range from rustic to sleek, depending on how they are designed, and can be purchased at home supply stores and gardening shops.

For a living willow fence, people plant willow sticks when the trees are dormant in the mid fall. The sticks will root, allowing them to develop into seedlings. With pruning and training, they can be shaped into a fence. Basic fences may simply leave the seedlings straight, while more complicated designs can weave the living trees together to create a stronger fence with a more decorative appearance. The fence will be covered in green leaves in the spring, transitioning to bare sticks in the winter.

People interested in using a living fence should prepare the ground ahead of time and may find it helpful to lay down landscaping fabric to keep down weeds while the fence sprouts. It is important to be vigilant with pruning and training to keep the fence even and attractive. If individual seedlings fail to take root or die, they can be replaced with new ones. In the spring, fertilizing will help the trees develop more quickly. The tops can be bent over and interwoven once a desired height for the willow fencing has been reached.



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