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  • Deeside Willow Team

Living Willow Arbour: Building & Maintenance Instructions


Willow Arbours can be a great addition to a garden or community space, and are relatively simple to construct. These living willow structures can provide a perfect place to relax, or be used as a fun den providing shade for children to play.

Once the willow is pushed into the ground and secured, the willow will then root and grow. This will mean that you need to maintain the living structure by weaving in the willow rods for at least the first few years to build up the structure - for some, this is as enjoyable as the initial build!

We hope you find these instructions useful! At Deeside Willow we are happy to receive any questions and/or your feedback so that we can improve these for whoever chooses to embark on their next living willow structure!


Things you will need:

  • (Green) Willow Whips:

  • Small Arbour (~2m Dimeter): x41 Whips (min. 8' / ~2.5m length).

  • Medium Arbour (~3m Dimeter): x41 Whips (min. 11' / ~3.5m length).

  • (optional) Weed-suppressing membrane.

  • Gardeners twine, rope or similar.

Other useful tools:

  • Safety Glasses / Gardening Gloves

  • Secateurs / Loppers

  • Measuring tape.

  • Pointed wooden or metal stake (1-2" in diameter)

  • A way to water them after planting.

Step 1. Read our growing guide.

  • Read our simple growing and maintenance guide before you start - this provides important information to help when considering location, ground preparation, arrival and aftercare.

Step 2. Lay the matting / weed suppressing membrane.

  • (If using) Lay weed-suppressing membrane across the surface of the area you intend to grow your dome. Note: Laying membrane at least 6" around your willow whips is recommended to keep the base of a living willow structure clear from any weeds.

Step 3. Use a stake to measure out the Arbour.

  • Find your centre point of the Arbour, puncture a hole and push the wooden/metal stake into the ground until secure (or you could use one of your willow whips thick-end down).