Kilmarnock College students studying horticulture helped Eadha commence the planting at Wardlaw. The first task was to collect cuttings of Eared Willow (Salix aurita) from a recorded stand in Renfrewshire. Given willow’s tendency to hybridize, great care must be taken when selecting bushes for cuttings. This stand lies in a remote location some distance from any other willow populations and is recorded in the Renfrewshire Flora as a pure stand. Local provenance eared willow is generally not available from standard tree nurseries.
Eared willow prefers wet and acid conditions and is a key pioneer species of moorland found right up to the tree-line and within montane scrub communities. This species is therefore ideally suited to the challenging conditions at Wardlaw.
“Challenging” was one word to describe the weather as the students commenced the planting of the willow along with some aspen trees in the afternoon! But they showed great resilience and soldiered on to make a great start in the planting. Well done guys and thanks for your help!