The weather has been unseasonably warm and mild this Autumn into Winter, resulting in the willows retaining their leaves far longer than usual. I can begin harvesting once all the leaves have fallen and the sap is down. Now the new year of 2023 has begun the leaves have finally dropped, thanks to a pre Christmas very cold snap where it was minus 8 degrees on several consecutive nights.
Despite the very high temperatures and long dry spells of July and August 2022 the willow grew very well, for which I am so grateful for. The beds are now in their 4th year since being planted and luckily were well established with roots deep enough to survive the extreme 40 degree heat days this area had. Soaking times have had to increase because stored dry willow was so devoid of moisture from the hot weather, so it will be interesting to see how this years crop behaves once dried and soaked later in 2023. Action shots of the willow being cut by hand will follow soon.