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I have a (very) small pond (well, it's a .5x.5 bin with foil) with some still standing water inside. It's mainly inhabited by frogs, insects and visited by the local cats and contains a lot of duckweed. (it's more a 'frog ditch' than a pond...)

Last year, I put a small willow trunk in the water, and after a while, it started to grow. That is not specifically special (willows like water), but it's still growing and it has it's complications. The small branches quickly get too high which makes the trunk topple. The small branches lie in the water, and after a while, new branches start to grow. Under water, the trunk creates roots, which start to rot once they appear above water level (due to toppling).

What to do? I don't want to pull the trunk out of the water; I like the small growing willow. But what will happen once I fix the trunk in some way or another? will it grow, silt up and become a 'full blown' healthy willow tree?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Willows will grow in any combination of wet and soil. They might grow slower when grown in water without soil but most species will get too large for a small pond/ditch.

With my pond I use a plastic planting basket or a pot with holes in the side and put the cutting or stem in this with some substrate to hold it up. Pea stone or coconut coir provide stability without adding nitrogen to the water as soil would do.

This has worked for Joe pye weed, bull rushes, button-bush and water iris. All the plants need is a little support and they do the rest.

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