Preserving Willow Branches
Here is an article that shows the basic steps for preserving willow branches for display in the home. When preserved, the branches can be shown alone or in a dried flower arrangement.
Image via Wikipedia
Willow trees bloom in Northern temperate zones in late winter and early spring. When you see the tree’s early blossoms, it’s a happy indicator that spring is on its way. Branches of these types of trees can be nicely incorporated in dried flower arrangements or work well in interior decorating schemes when arranged alone. To preserve the branches is a fairly simple process. Following are the tools and steps needed in order to preserve these lovely branches for display year-round.
First, you’ll need scissors or pruning shears, cold water, string, and a cool dry place, such as a shed, to preserve the branches.
In the latter part of winter or early spring, when willow branches start to bud, cut the branches from the trees once the catkins have reached a stage where the buds underneath the brown caps are ready to open.
Once you prune the branches you want to use, place the ends of the selected branches in cold water for about a week. After the ends have been submerged for about a week, the branches are ready for bundling. Bundle branches in groupings of five.
Next, you’ll hang each bundled grouping in a cool, dry place. This is important in the preservation process – make sure the place where you hang the branches is absolutely safe from leaks or access to moisture of any kind. This portion of the process will take about two weeks.
After the two weeks are up, you’ll be ready to arrange your branches for display. Remove the brown caps covering the buds very carefully before displaying the branches.
Your branches, using the above steps, should last for several years.