Wet Soil: High
Dry Soil: Low
Salix alba, commonly known as White Willow, is a deciduous tree known for its graceful form, distinctive history and long history of practical uses. Belonging to the Salicacea family, this tree is native to the UK and has been widely cultivated and naturalised in various regions around the world.
The White Willow is characterised by its large upright form and broad crown that provides ample shade. The name ‘White Willow’ comes from the pale colour of its bark, which is smooth and tinged with shades of grey.
The lance shaped leaves of the Salix alba are a notable feature, adorned in silky, fuzzy coating and appear silver as it billows in the breeze. In early spring, the White Willow will produce inconspicuous catkins that add a subtle charm to the tree. These are distributed by wind, and, if planted by a river bank they can be distributed by the water. Hence they are very successful pioneers.
One of the remarkable aspects of the White Willow is its historical significance. The tree has been traditionally used for various purposes, typically in herbal medicine where its bark contains compounds similar to modern-day aspirin. Additionally, the flexible branches of the Salix alba have been used for basket weaving and the construction of various items.
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15m high x 10m wide after 25 years
Commonly found down riverbanks, near ponds, in parks. Often planted in landscapes as a pollard.
Broadly columnar tree.
Silvery, lanceolate leaves occurring in billowy masses of silky, hairy leaves.
Yellowish brown to light grey.
Yellow inconspicuous flowers.
Tolerant to wet conditions, and can withstand floods. Prefers calcareous soils. Resistant to frost and wind.
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