If you require purpose-grown woody biomass to assist with phytoremediation of wastewater, biosolids, or soil contaminants, or you are interested in a green source of fuel to provide renewable energy; today’s professionally bred willow hybrids are the solution. Willow also has great soil stabilization and erosion control properties, with its rapid root development. When planted on marginal farm land, willow plantations increase surface shade, provide annual leaf litter, and ongoing root action. Soils can thus be improved over time into productive land.
Key characteristics include:
Versatile – Willow have high rates of evapotranspiration during the growing season. They are able to establish on degraded soils, yet they have efficient uptake of nutrients and high filtering capacity for nitrogen. This makes willow a great bio-filter even on poorer soils.
Hardy – elite varieties of willow trees will grow on a wide range of soils, including on marginal land and areas subject to occasional flooding. This makes them ideally suited to underutilized crop land.
Low maintenance & cost-effective – willow plantations require little maintenance, including minimal fertilizer and pesticide application. Once established, willow yields surprisingly low lifetime production costs.
Disease and pest resistant – today’s hybrids have been specially bred to increase resistance to pests and disease native to North America.
High success rate – willows are readily established by planting un-rooted cuttings and have proven to be a reliable crop.
Easy to harvest – elite willow varieties are bred for upright growth to promote efficient harvesting. Once harvested, the willow plants do not need to be replanted – they grow right back.
High-yield, short-rotation – by matching varieties with local climate and soil conditions, willow crops can be established and harvested in two or three year rotations. By rotationally harvesting parts of your plantation, you can access predictable annual biomass.
High quality energy – the quality and availability of traditional biomass sources, such as industrial and forest waste, is highly variable. Purpose-grown willow consistently delivers high-quality, carbon-neutral energy, making it a smart choice of fuel.
Long life span & soil improvement – willow crops typically provide consistent yields for 25 to 30 years. Over that period, the organic matter input from leaf litter greatly enhances the soil structure and nutrients.