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Re: Willow bark rooting hormone

  • Subject: Re: Willow bark rooting hormone
  • From: ECPep@AOL.COM
  • Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 22:53:58 EDT

In a message dated 9/17/04 2:24:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
gwenbrian@SUPANET.COM writes:

> Would it not be simpler to use a dispersible aspirin - either dip the end
> of
> the cutting in the solution, or water in?

That is a pretty logical question and I do not have any credible answer.
Aspirin sold OTC is acetylsalicylic acid and is not produced from the bark or
cambium layers of willow shoots, it is a chemical produced in a laboratory.  It
is a synthetic product with a chemical assay easily found on the net.

Just how this differs from what you mix up in the shed, I think will take
more time searching around the net than I am willing to invest.  There is
probably some difference and (shudder) someone has probably written an article

The ancient use of willow bark and willow water would not have been based on
a chemical analysis, no doubt just the observation of gardeners.  There are
many such passalong tricks and some of them are very useful.  I have been
reading the potato thing for years.  I always figured the potato would decompose
before I got any results so I never tried it.  A great many people have so it
must work with the right directions.  Maybe a cool greenhouse.  I learned many
years ago in my grandfather's garden that not all of his knowledge came out of
his chemical arsenal.  He did not garden in English so not all of it came to

Whoever is collecting the tips, that must be a very interesting thing to do.
One of his tricks was to germinate seeds in gelatin which had been boiled and
made sterile.  He was born in l875 and who knows where he got the gelatin.
He espaliered a peach tree up the south side of his house (upstate NY is not
friendly to peach trees) and painted the whole thing with some glop every fall.
He always had peaches, I never do.  My sister and I were some of those kids
paid in pennies to pick bugs from plants and drop them in kerosene.

So If had some willows, I would brew up the solution and give it a try.  I
still add a willow shoot or two to any woody cutting I am trying.  Thanks for
bringing up this thread, I should add a soft willow cutting to the pelargonium
cuttings that are reluctant.

Claire Peplowski
NYS zone

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