New willow beds are planted in the spring using pieces of willow from the crop harvested during the preceeding winter. The new willow bed will not be fully productive in the first three years, but once it is well established, with careful management the plants can last up to 30 years. Each mature plant or "stool" gives rise to over 30 rods. The crop is harvested each winter time after the leaves have died and fallen, these old leaves provide nutrients for the following years, eliminating the need for artificial fertilisers. The willow beds provide homes and shelter for many species of birds and animals during the summer months. Willow growing is part of the rich environmental heritage of this area of Somerset. Both the commercial willow crops, or beds and the pollarded willow trees contribute to the character and image of the region.