I live in Scarborough On and I have a potted braided willow that I need to protect over the winter. Please, can you tell me what I should do so that it survives.
Braided or woven willows are actually several trees in the pot, usually whips of our native willows.
Willows in themselves are cold hardy, but that massed bundle of roots will not survive the winter in a pot above ground. The trees also don’t enjoy being in the warm dry environment in our homes during their dormant period (November to March).
So the best solution is to remove the structure from the pot carefully and transplant it into the garden.
Here’s some advice directly from a nursery grower of these ornamental potted trees. Growing and Working With Willows
Here’s a little more detail from a response we gave to another inquirer on the same subject, “Willows are very hardy and are able to withstand severe frost. These sculptures can be planted directly in the garden, where they receive partial shade to full sun. When planting directly in the garden make sure to plant them 15cm deep. Willows love water, so make sure that the soil stays moist for the first few weeks after planting. After the first 3-4 weeks, only water when needed based on weather conditions. It’s highly important that the soil is moist around the base of the stem for the first season. Once the plant has become established, your plant should only need to be watered during the summer when it is really dry.”
I would also recommend you mulch around the plant for more protection of the roots. But don’t mulch up the stems. just around the plant.