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Care of the plant Salix alba or White willow.

Care of the tree Salix alba or White willow

The genus Salix, family Salicaceae, includes some 400 species of trees and shrubs native to temperate and cold regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Some species are: Salix alba, Salix caprea, Salix baylonica, Salix fragilis, Salix cinerea, Salix purpurea, Salix arbuscula, Salix viminales, Salix atrocinerea, Salix vitellina.

Common names: White willow, Swallow-tailed willow, Huntingdon willow. This species is native to Europe and western and central Asia.

They are dioecious deciduous trees with a wide crown and gray bark that reach 25 meters (82 feet) in height. The leaves are up to 10 cm (3.93") long, have a lanceolate shape, the margin is dentate and are light green on the upper surface and silver on the underside. The small flowers appear in yellowish catkins. They bloom in early spring.

They are used as isolated specimens and in groups on banks. It is not recommended to plant them next to buildings or pipes due to the large extension of the roots.

The Salix alba needs full sun exposure and a mild climate. It has good resistance to frost.

They grow in any type of soil that has poor drainage, even heavy calcareous soils.

Water frequently so the substrate never dries completely. They do not resist drought.

Fertilize in autumn with compost or manure.

They can be pruned in late winter to keep them compact.

They are quite resistant plants to the usual pests and diseases but they can be attacked by some fungi.

They are propagated by cuttings in fall or winter and from seeds sown in spring. 

Images of the tree Salix alba or White willow

Salix alba
Salix alba