Willow fencing is one of the oldest forms of fencing in Britain. The screens are made from willow, which is a deciduous species of tree native to Britain. The traditional method used for willow fencing is to weave willow cuttings through a framework made of vertical stakes, however, this arrangement can be reversed to have the cuttings running vertically.
Because of the natural materials used in the fencing, willow fencing offers an environmentally friendly alternative to modern fencing. However, because willow fences are often untreated they can be prone to decay, with extended exposure to bad weather a major cause of this. To negate damage to the willow, the wood can be coated in a natural preservative such as linseed oil.
Another problem that can occur with willow fencing is that it may start sprouting, this can happen if the fence is inserted into the ground when the willow is too fresh. To avoid this eventuality it is important only put up willow fences that have thoroughly dried.
Over time, the tightly woven willow can come loose, so willow fencing requires regular retying and general maintenance to ensure that is does not fray. If well maintained, a willow fence can last in excess of ten years.
Although the wood is lightweight, willow is quite strong and very flexible so can be used for garden fences, as well as being suited to fencing for animal pens.