Here is the result of harvesting the willow this spring season, while safeguarding Anne's desire to use the willow bushes/trees as a privacy fence too. The trash can contains white willow, willow whips stripped of their bark to reveal the white flesh beneath. The greenish tinge here will fade to a soft white as these whips dry.
The willow tree in the fore of this photo is perhaps three years old. It has been allowed to grow without being trimmed to ground level for three years. It does form a significant privacy barrier.
This is the same species of willow with its beautiful yellow bark and its leaves in tight clusters. Selected whips from this bush were cut for white willow. To ready it for stripping, I removed the leaves and then removed the bark. This is easy to do at his stage of growth with that first full flush of leaves being present.
This is another species of willow that grows slender enough whips for me to use as ribs for my rib baskets. I need at least a two foot section of slender willow to use as ribs.
In a few sections of the garden, I was able to cut the willow bushes down to near ground level. From this stool many slender whips will grow ready for next year's harvest.
This is the same species of willow as in the previous photo. It is another privacy barrier so we can sit on our patio without all passers by seeing us. A large number of these whips could have been cut and used for white willow ribs, but this would have opened up the view too much for Anne. Next year these whips will have thickened to much for me to use, and will have too many branches too.