Willows have been growing in Kashmir Valley and other adjoining temperate areas of India since time immemorial. The willow constituted an important tree species to mankind in view of its multipurpose usage. Introduction of wicker and bat willows from England during early 20th century and their multiplication in suitable areas of Kashmir Valley acted as a boon to the willow based cottage industry.

Pandit Kalhan's 12th century text, the 'Rajatarangini' (composed around 1148-1150 AD), which chronicles the history of Kashmir, describes a well conceived and maintained irrigation system. One of the most notable names recorded in the 'Rajatarangini' is Suyya. He is credited with "draining the water of the Vitasta River and controlling it by constructing a stone dam, and clearing its bed."