Home-made rooting hormone. Willow trees contain a lot of natural rooting hormone. To make it cut 15 to 20 thin twigs (any variety of willow tree). Place the twigs in a bucket, top with water, cover with lid. Let this sit for at least 24 hours then strain out the twigs. Alternately, you can put them in a pot of water and bring to boil. Let steep for 1 hour before use. Place cuttings in the water solution a day before potting. Can be refrigerated for up to one month.
How to Make a Rooting Hormone. Cut 20 thin willow branches, cut into 3'' pieces, soak in a gallon of warm water for 24h, drain. Let your seedlings soak in it for 24h, plant. Keep the left over solution in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.
Willow branch tips are full of growth hormones in the spring. They may be left in a bucket (whip around occasionally to vortex and oxygenate water, maybe don't spill so much as I do in this photo!) for a week or two. This makes a Willow sun tea that can be used for watering in spring cuttings and seeds, substantially bolstering root formation and quickening germination. After the Willow itself roots out (and it will) you can plant it--each frond will make a clonal tree. Its magic.
I would love to do something like this! plant willow before they totally leaf out. Not weeping willow or shoots from large willow trees (they’ll get too big). Instead look for willow that grows weedy and reedy by creaks and streams in your area. Take thumb-size cuttings 6-8′ long. Park them in water in a cool dark place. And when you’re ready, simply push them in the ground and water, water, water. Woo-hoo!
The living willow fence- In short, you take long and straight willow stems and plant then in a line in the spring (just stick them in the ground), weaving them into a desired form and tie joints together for stability for the first few years for stability (elastic is good for this, but will need to be removed eventually).