The second one was taken in Spalding Lincolnshire in about 1910.
|Illustration from Baskets and Basketmaking by Alastair Heseltine ISBN 0852636113|
Usually I 'pit' the willows I am going to strip, cutting them in the winter when they are dormant and standing them in shallow water where they grow fine water roots. I then strip them when the leaves are bursting out, normally about May.
This year I decided it wasn't necessary as I had a good stock of white willow that I haven't found a use for yet. But there were some willows in the plot I hadn't cut when they were dormant and now they are coming into leaf. As they are 'Jaune', which make a really good creamy white willow, I thought I would try stripping them and it worked really well. As it was a sunny day they dried very quickly in the sun and I have never had such dazzling white willows before. Obviously timing is critical and you have to strip them almost as soon as you have cut them. I left a few with their butts standing in water overnight but because they had no roots by the next day the sap had dropped and they wouldn't peel.
|Illustration from Basketmaking in Bedfordshire by TW Bagshawe ISBN 0 907106003|