Willow cutting and planting project on the Musky March 29th

Members of the Ridge & Valley chapter, joined by members from several additional chapters, joined forces at Allamuchy Mountain State Park in late March to harvest native willow "cuttings" to be planted later that same day at three locations in Warren and Morris counties on the Musconetcong River in support of the Musconetcong Home Rivers Initiative.

The cuttings were permitted under a state-issued collection permit courtesy of our friends at NJ Division of Parks and Forestry.  We were able to plant banks that remain sparsely vegetated above the removed Gruendyke Mill dam due to beaver and deer browsing as well as over a half mile of the river in Franklin Twp. above Interstate 78 on Deerbrook Farms property.  Native willows harvested before they bud will quickly take root while at the same time shooting out leaves and branches, making them excellent for planting into badly eroded banks that receive full sun.  Some of these willows will top 10' or more in height by the end of this growing season.  Of the three species, two are trees and one is a shrub version.  All shoot tremendous roots into the banks to help stabilize them.


BELOW: Scott Catton planting willow stakes directly into the eroded banks as far as he can push them in


BELOW: Willow "whips" and thicker willow "stakes" were planted into the bank so that they reach moisture and begin to root. 


Only one week later....