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Willow Spiling Erosion Control

We provide willow spiling installation services
Willow spiling is one of the oldest forms of natural erosion control along streams and riverbanks.  We can supply and install willow rods and willow stakes into your bank and combine with other erosion control solutions if necessary.  We have more than 20 years' experience dealing with erosion issues along watercourses where the client is looking for a more natural solution, particularly where access for large machinery is an issue.

The best time to carry out live willow spiling work is between December and April when the willow is not in leaf.

There are a few considerations to bear in mind when considering willow spiling to prevent water erosion:

  • Willow will not grow below the late spring/early summer water level – for erosion problems below this level a combined solution may be required. This could include the use of stones or hazel faggots to reduce wave buffeting.

  • Willow does not grown well in shade. Existing trees may require coppicing before spiling is carried out.

  • The watercourse needs to be large enough so that the willow will not dominate. Using live willow on small streams may not be suitable.

Try our checklist to find out if willow spiling is for you.

Quantities for spiling:

1 willow stake is recommended every 0.5m and 1.5 bundles of live willow rods will cover around 1 square metre of spiling. Stake length should be the required height of the spiling plus 1m (to go into the ground).


Generally, the thicker stakes (80-100mm diameter) are recommended but the thinner ones (50-80mm diameter) could be used for lower spiling heights (i.e. less than 1m).


Willow roots will withstand being 10/30cm under water and the occasional complete flooding in the year.

Willow Spiling Material
Spilling Reduced
Willow Spiling Installation
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