I don't know anything about the subject of tree growing, so bear with me please:
Many years ago, when I planted a shelterbelt on the farm, I remember receiving willows that were just a piece of branch, cut on both ends. If I remember correctly, I stuck them in the garden and watered them until they made roots and had sprouted (is that the right word?) and grown to about two feet tall, then transplanted them to their final destination. It was quite fascinating to see those sticks come to life.
Now, I'd love to do that again. Can I just go and cut these myself off a willow tree? Is this the right time for it? There will be about another 6 weeks before trees here start growing any leaves, so they're still dormant I suppose. The snow is just now starting to melt a little.
I'd be grateful for any advice.