How to install a willow fence

Written by kate sheridan
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How to install a willow fence
Willow wands create natural materials for inexpensive fencing. (two willows image by Neelrad from

When you install a willow fence, you get two landscape features for the price and effort of only one. Because of willow's enthusiastic growth properties, a willow fence can also function as a privacy hedge. Clip your supply of willow wands in late winter or early spring. You'll install your willow fence in two rows, each angled in an opposite direction. Pack them as closely together as you prefer, leaving enough space to tie the crossing wands together.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Tree pruners
  • Clippers
  • Shovel
  • Crushed gravel
  • Wood posts, 1.8 m (6 feet) long
  • Long screwdriver or metal rod
  • Hammer
  • Garden hose
  • Elastic ties or garden twine

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  1. 1

    Select a sunny location to install your willow fence. Measure the area lengthwise to estimate the number of willow wands and support posts you'll need. Acquire at least two willow wands per horizontal 30 cm (1 foot) of fencing and one support post for every 1.8 m (6 feet) of fencing.

  2. 2

    Trim the wands to a uniform length. Set aside the smaller pieces to use later as fence ties.

  3. 3

    Install all of your support posts before you begin installing willow wands. Dig post holes about 45 cm (18 inches) deep. Install a support post every 1.8 m (6 feet).

  4. 4

    Mix a shovel of crushed gravel with the excavated soil to anchor each support post. Water the hole and tamp down the mixture.

  5. 5

    Hammer a long screwdriver about 30 cm (12 inches) into the first post hole. Insert a willow wand into the hole. Bend the wand until it's at a 45 degree angle, facing the next post. Close the wand hole, tamp down and water.

  6. 6

    Create a row of wand holes 30 cm (12 inches) apart along the length of the willow fence line. When you reach the end of the fence line, turn around and create a parallel row of wand holes. Place the second row of wand holes about 2.5 cm (1 inch) away from the first row.

  7. 7

    Fill in one row at a time. Insert one willow wand into each hole. Lean the first row of wands all in one direction at a 45-degree angle. Lean the second row in the opposite direction.

  8. 8

    Tamp the soil back into place until wands are secure. Water the fence line well.

  9. 9

    Move along the fence line, tying your willow wands together wherever they cross each other or a support post.

Tips and warnings

  • Water your willow fence regularly to encourage the willow to grow in place.
  • To keep your willow fence looking neat and trim, hoe gently around the fence base to keep weeds from mingling with the willow.

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