White Willow

There are examples in the park, this one is in Hither Wood, planted in 2012 and coppiced once.

Latin/Botanical Name: Salix alba

Range: Native to Europe and often found growing in wet ground such as river banks.

Height: up to 25m

Uses: Willows are prized for their slender, flexible stems, used to weave baskets and ‘cribs’ for animal food. Larger stems were traditionally used to make small sailing boats.

Description: Deciduous, often with an irregular, leaning crown. The bark is grey-brown and develops deep fissures with age, and twigs are slender, flexible and grey-brown. Leaves are slender and oval, paler than most other willow due to a felty covering of fine, silky white hairs on the underside which gives the tree its name. It is dioecious, (male and female flowers grow on separate trees). Catkins appear in early spring. It is insect pollinated and small capsules containing minute seeds encased in white down, which aids dispersal by wind.

Interesting Fact: the cricket bat willow is a hybrid of the white willow and crack willow. As its names suggests, it is used to make cricket bats.