Our Hybrid Willow is one of my favorite trees - nectar source for the bees in the spring, cool shade in the summer, while keeping algae and cattail growth in check.
I wanted to add a few more around the pond this year and decided to try my hand at hardwood propagation. Start off with branches of pencil thickness in the spring and cut down to ~6 inches in length. Place the clippings in cups and fill with 3 inches of water. Clippings release a hormone which promotes rooting, dense occupancy in the cup promotes rapid rooting.
Within a few days roots will appear. Interesting observation - thinner cuttings root more rapidly. Keep a close eye as the roots may quickly become tangled.
Once the roots reach a few inches in length they're ready for transfer to soil - add an inch of potting soil, careful place the clipping, then add the rest. Ensure the soil stays moist, but not waterlogged. I kept the these clippings in a grow tent with my other springs starts, but a sunny window should suffice.
Once the leafy growth reaches a few inches in length they'r ready to pot up. I used gallon pots I had handy and placed outside near a sprinkler to keep them moist.
By next year they should reach a few feet in length and by ready for transplant to their final home!