Just taken delivery of some willow whips. The roots are over 12 inches long and the willow stems are the same height - can they be pruned or do we plant them as they are?
If you have the depth, I'd suggest planting without pruning the roots. If the stems are healthy I'd leave them be and look at them again in Spring.
I agree. Plant them as they are, get them well established and prune later. I would suggest not until Spring 2021.
the enduring gardener
I've never had any problems with willow not taking root at this time of year. Even a stick with no roots seems to take. But I guess they might take more quickly if left intact.