Establishment of willows using the novel DeValix technique: ecological restoration mats designed for phytotechnologies

Ryan A. Vinhal, Ronald S. Zalesny, Brent S. DeBauche, Elizabeth R. Rogers, Andrej Pilipović, Raju Y. Soolanayakanahally, Adam H. Wiese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Successful willow (Salix spp., hybrids and cultivars) establishment is a major determinant of their effectiveness when grown for phytotechnologies. Vertically-planted hardwood cuttings have been shown to produce adequate willow growth and survival, although site conditions at phytoremediation installations can make vertical planting methods unsuitable. The DeValix willow mat restoration technique was designed and tested as an alternative horizontal planting method that can be installed by hand in a variety of environmental applications. The DeValix technique was evaluated by testing five willow clones (“Millbrook”; “Sherburne”; “SX61”; “SX67”; “Tully Champion”) grown at two phytoremediation sites (Ontonagon, MI; Manitowoc, WI) for the 2019 growing season. Differences in survival and growth were tested among sites, genotypes, and their interactions. Stem height, diameter, and number of stems per mat were compared to identify clones with greater establishment success and higher phytoremediation potential. Results demonstrated significant effects of site (p < 0.0001) and clone (p < 0.0001) on shoot number. Additionally, the site × clone interaction significantly affected stem height (p = 0.0045) and diameter (p = 0.0166). Stem density ranged from 95,000 to 212,000 stems per hectare, indicating the DeValix technique is a viable establishment method for environmental applications, including phytoremediation and shoreline stabilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)730-743
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Phytoremediation
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©, This work was authored as part of the Contributor's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 USC. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under US Law.


  • Biomass
  • horizontal planting
  • phytoremediation
  • Salix
  • Shoreline Stabilization
  • Short Rotation Willow


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