River protection - Willow, Poplar

Late August 2009 – planted four species of poplar/willow

CM4 Willow – This is a variable type of shrub willow ie multi-stemmed. There are 5-6 types of willow in the family of CM4 Willow. Also known as Glenmark willow.
They leaf up earlier than some of the other species. Very large buds. This has a broader leaf (compared with Kinuyinagi) and it loses its leaves quicker.
In our dry Selwyn river setting this has performed very well- planted in spring of 2009 and had a long very dry late summer autumn. Rain didn’t arrive until May 2010.

Kinuyanagi willow – we called this ‘ken yu no stand up stret- as each pole had a hockey stick look about it, when being planted. 888 poker This is a shrub willow that doesn’t sucker. It has narrow leaves with a white (tumous) furry nature to the underside.
Some of these died during the late summer/Autumn drought of 2010.
Didn’t perform as well as CM4.

Trichocarpa Poplar – quite a few of these were smaller- about 1.8 m length. Often planted right up to last few buds. Run your hand down the stem in winter and you will smell the inside of a bee hive- propolis. These can have very large leaves and they have very distinctive large buds and very ribbed stems in the young growth.
They have grown well in our conditions, sometimes putting on a couple of metres- in the first year.

Yeogi Poplar (Made in China) -Suckers from the base, as a normal part of its growth.- therefore be careful where you plant this. Will sucker from root segments.
If cut main stem down on a 3-4 yr old tree, this will greatly encourage root suckering.
This will form a tree- very apically dominant a bit like Veronese in that regard.
-has very smooth young shoots- no ridges.

Veronese poplar – often very drought resistant. In really dry conditions they won’t grow well, but tend to hang on and come away next year. Has fine ridges on young stems. The ridges are not as strong/coarse as in Trichocarpa. Smaller buds than Trichocarpa.


Three and a half days with 27 tonne digger, from MA Bruce. Great operator – thanks Mark. At top end of property we were getting trees down about 2 m. Lower in property water level was higher, making it much harder to get poles in really deep. ??? ????

River has been flowing very nicely for about 2-3 months this winter. (July/Aug/Sep 2009).

By 21st Sep all release spraying completed. Also all the protectors are in place. Some really deep planted trees need to be hidden under cut broom branches to protect from rabbits and hares.

River has stopped flowing at the bridge, this week. ??? ???? ????

21/9/2009 planted a black basket willow and golden willow in our pond- no water there, but damp shingle. Large, well rooted, but will struggle to keep going once it gets really dry. Needed to be planted earlier with digger.

22/9/09 Most of these trees are leafing up nicely. Really could do with a good rain, but hoping the spray releasing will help to keep them going.

8 Feb 2010. Was really surprised to see in the base of the river bed – which is really dry presently- willow and poplars growing up through the boulders. These were trees that had been devastated by flood. What I mean is they had disappeared downstream. So it was a real pleasure to see that they are continuing to grow from remnant roots.

The main planting we did in the spring has gone really well. This was a major effort designed to provide a strong degree of protection in a massive flood. One day I guess the trees will show up on google maps!

May flood – 2010 – took out the bottom row of trees. Others had flood over their tops and they collected trash and are likely to look good next summer as they grow through broom branches etc.

Through summer of 2010/2011 trees didn’t really grow much. I wonder if they need some fertiliser. They are getting reasonable levels of weed control, with Roundup.

July 26th 2011, 300 poles planted on both sides of the river. Planted CM4 willow, Kinuyinagi willow, trichocarpa and yeogi poplar. Wired some of the trees together in hope of keeping them in event of flood.