Hybrid Willows Trees are the fastest growing tree in the world, to the best of my knowledge. Expect 8′-15′ the first year. Grows extremely fast. Has been documented that a one year cutting at the end of the first season was 20′ tall. Are very hardy and disease resistance. Will grow in every state in the U.S. Common zones 3-8. Found growing in Florida to Canada. I live in Minnesota and have no problems with 25 below zero winters. They do not spread by seeds or suckers. Basically almost impossible to kill with too much water. Once established, they grow fine through a drought year. Have an average life span of 70 years. They slow in growth in later years. Under normal conditions a grower can expect 8′ to 15′ in one year. Do not have brittle wood. Excellent shelter belts. Wind and erosion protection and will save on heating costs for your home blocking the winds. Pulp and timber production and capable of fast regeneration without replanting. Excellent for fire breaks due to their high water content. I personally bought my cuttings in 1989, sold to me as Austree cuttings and the first year my tallest cutting grew 8′ and I made little effort to follow directions provided. A few years back I planted again and followed the proper instructions and my tallest tree after 1 years growth was 12′. And the second year it was 24′. If you want a privacy hedge, trim off the tops each year and they will grow very dense. If you want a shade tree, trim off the lower branches. They make an excellent shade tree. They can grow to 100′ tall. They do not weep, but have leaves like a willow. In my yard the leaves stay green on the trees, in the fall, until frost freezes them off. The branches are still thick enough to still provide some privacy in the winter. Trees develop extensive root system and can damage blocks foundations, sidewalks, underground pipes, drain tiles, etc. so be careful where they are planted. Like most trees, you should avoid planting near septic systems and should allow a minimum of 20 feet from structures. Excellent for removing excessive moisture. Grows up to 1/3 faster than the Hybrid Poplar. You will receive cuttings at least 13” long (most are 14-15”). Cuttings worked fine for me and they will work fine for you. Cuttings save on shipping and saves money on my asking price. Plus it makes planting a breeze. I will include planting instructions. I suggest purchasing heavy duty black plastic to use as mulch for the cuttings, which will help warm the ground, hold in moisture, and works for weed control. Heavy applications of sawdust, bark, or wood chips is also very affective. Or a good layer of grass clippings. Or commercial products that work for weed control and trapping moisture in. They are very easy to plant. I will back my trees for three months. If a tree or trees die or did not grow, I will replace it for free. It is rare when this happens, but it has happened. When they are growing for two or three months, they should never die.
If planting for a shelter belt for a windbreak or privacy fence, plant 3 feet apart in a single row and a grower will have an effective shelter within the first year. The close spacing provides a dense cover that will not use up too much space and the mature width of the shelter will be about 8-15 feet wide. A shelter planted 5 feet apart in double staggered rows provides a very thick break which can act as a snow trap in the winter as well.