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  • Deeside Willow Team

Living Willow High & Wide Arch/Tunnel: Building & Maintenance Instructions

Updated: Mar 10, 2022


A Willow Arch or Tunnel can be a great addition to a garden or community space, and are relatively simple to construct. These living willow structures can help create structure or provide a path through existing boundaries or natural openings. These instructions can be used to build an Arch or Tunnel of two different sizing options (e.g. ~1m or ~2m wide x ~1.8m height), but the techniques can be used to extend for longer tunnels or for customised designs.

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 note for whoever chooses to embark on their next Willow Arch!

Materials. Things you will need:

  • To build a 'High Arch' (1m wide x 1m long x ~1.8m high Arch) - willow required:

  • 14x 3m / 10ft whips for 1m long tunnel (add 12x whips per additional metre length).

  • 1x 1.2m baton min. ~1.5cm thick at tip. (longer/multiples per additional length)

  • To build a 'Wide Arch' (2m wide x 1m long x ~1.8m high Arch) - willow required:

  • 14x 3.5m / 12ft whips for 1m long tunnel (x12x whips per additional metre length).

  • 3x 1.2m baton min. ~1.5cm thick at tips (longer/multiples per additional length)

  • Gardeners twine, rope or similar.

  • (optional) Weed-suppressing membrane and 6" pegs (or alternative) to secure.

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.