Salix Alba, also known as the White Willow Tree, is a native UK tree which makes an excellent specimen tree where it has room to grow and moist soil to sink its roots into. This iconic rural tree can add a graceful beauty to your landscape!
Native to the UK and Europe, the white willow tree has long been a fixture in the landscape, where it grows in the wild along streams and watercourses. Its weeping relative, Salix Babylonica - with long, flexible stems hanging almost to the ground, is instantly recognizable. In late winter the stems of Salix Alba turn a bright yellow before leafing out with narrow, fine leaves that appear silvery white when moving in the breeze. Its yellowish small flowers bloom in the spring, followed on female trees by small white fruits which disperse their fluffy seeds. As it matures the grey-brown bark develops deep fissures, adding to the visual interest of the Salix alba.
Salix alba is winter hardy throughout the UK, and can reach a mature height of 25 metres in 20 to 50 years. While it is not necessary to prune Salix alba to maintain its natural shape, the white willow tree is often pollarded or coppiced to control the size of its crown. The cut stems can be used to weave into baskets.
Salix alba needs to be carefully sited in your landscape plans, as its quick growth, large size, and strong preference for a moist situation will limit suitable spots. It will grow best in full sun in moist loam, sand, or clay, with acid neutral or alkaline ph. The white willow tree will grow happily in a sheltered or exposed location, with any aspect. Keep away from drains as its roots may grow into them in search of moisture. Salix alba will do well in coastal locations as it is tolerant to salt and wind.
The white willow tree is a natural choice for planting next to a stream or large water feature. On a large property, a row of willows would quickly provide a tall, effective screen with their rapid growth. Salix alba is an excellent specimen tree in a large lawn, where it can grow unimpeded to its full size, with its magnificent weeping crown sweeping down to the ground.
Salix alba will bring its graceful beauty to your landscape, with its unique form and attractive leaves. Give it room to spread and moist earth to grow in.
Salix Babylonica - Weeping Willow Tree
Salix Integra Hakuro Nishiki
Salix Babylonica Tortuosa