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Salix alba (White willow)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
25m
Max height
10m
Max spread
20-50 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Salix alba

Other names

White willow, Huntingdon willow, Swallow-tailed willow

Genus

Salix Salix

Species

S. alba - S. alba is a vigorous, spreading, deciduous tree with brown or grey-pink stems bearing lance-shaped, toothed, pointed, dull green leaves, hairy when young and blue-green beneath. Yellow-green female catkins and yellow male catkins bloom in spring as the leaves emerge.


Salix alba is: Deciduous

Habit

Spreading

Flower

Yellow, Yellow-green in Spring

Foliage

Green in Spring

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Caterpillars , Sawflies Aphids , Caterpillars , Sawflies

Rust Rust

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1 or pollard every 3-4 years.

Propagation methods

Hardwood cuttings, Softwood cuttings


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Where to grow

Salix alba (White willow) will reach a height of 25m and a spread of 10m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Coastal, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance, Wildlife, Foliage only

Cultivation

Grows easily in most soils except chalk. A rapid growing suitable for pollarding or coppicing.

Soil type

Clay, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Salix alba

Other names

White willow, Huntingdon willow, Swallow-tailed willow

Genus

Salix Salix

Species

S. alba - S. alba is a vigorous, spreading, deciduous tree with brown or grey-pink stems bearing lance-shaped, toothed, pointed, dull green leaves, hairy when young and blue-green beneath. Yellow-green female catkins and yellow male catkins bloom in spring as the leaves emerge.

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Spreading


Colour

Flower

Yellow, Yellow-green in Spring

Foliage

Green in Spring


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Caterpillars , Sawflies

Specific diseases

Rust

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1 or pollard every 3-4 years.

Propagation methods

Hardwood cuttings, Softwood cuttings


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Salix alba (White willow) will reach a height of 25m and a spread of 10m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Coastal, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance, Wildlife, Foliage only

Cultivation

Grows easily in most soils except chalk. A rapid growing suitable for pollarding or coppicing.

Soil type

Clay, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4, Zone 3, Zone 2

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Salix alba (White willow)

Common pest name

Scientific pest name

Agrilus fleischeri

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

5

General biosecurity comments

Pest of poplar; native to East Asia. Likely to be damaging if introduced to the UK. Protecting against the risk of entry via wood packaging material and other means remains a priority. A Europe-wide assessment would be helpful; to consider strengthened regulation.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Salix alba (White willow)

Common pest name

watermark disease of willow; willow vascular wilt; willow watermark disease; willow wilt

Scientific pest name

Brenneria salicis

Type

Bacterium

Current status in UK

Present (Limited)

Likelihood to spread in UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Bacterial organism causing watermark disease; which affects willow used for cricket bat production. Established in parts of England; despite long-standing powers for local authorities to take action; which have now been revoked.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Salix alba (White willow)

Common pest name

Namangan longhorn beetle

Scientific pest name

Xylotrechus namanganensis

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Polyphagous pest originating in Asia; some uncertainty regarding risk to UK; further work needed to assess climatic suitability.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Clay, Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

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