The Willow

Willow – A tree for all seasons

The sight of willow trees trailing their leaves gracefully in slowly moving water is how most of us picture this wonderful tree. But willow is not just a tree for summer in our parks and countryside.  It is also the perfect garden tree and brings value in winter and spring too.

Suggestions for winter interest:

  • Salix alba x fragilis. This vigorous salix produces stems that could be traffic stopping – bright green at their base, orange in the middle and bright red at their tips!
  • Salix alba ‘Britenzis’ –  brilliant for bright red stems

Special tip for the best winter colour

In spring, cut shoots back vigorously to a little above ground level.  Do this  annually and you are guaranteed a fabulous display in the coming autumn and winter.  


















Springtime joy

Enjoy the beauty of the catkins (also known as ‘pussy willow’).  Charming to look at and delightful to touch, their sweet honey fragrance attracts bees and butterflies, instant biodiversity!  

  • Salix caprea ‘Kilmarnock’ is renowned for its yellow-grey catkins which bloom from March to May  
  • Salix integra 'Hakuro-nishiki' is a small, slender willow, bearing beautiful, variegated leaves – at its best in spring and early summer

Care notes for willows

  • Tough, thrive on wet ground

  • Happy in a wide range of soils

  • Full sun? No problem!

  • Carry on pruning - they are vigorous plants