ii) Density: They proliferate as single stems at a density of one every four to twelve inches you one can walk through them.
iii) Spread Rate: I do not have information on spread rate however we have planted many on our new tree farm so we will be measuring the rate of spread. All we can say is that it proliferates in every direction and does not stay in a row if planted in a row.
iv) Terrain: We notice they grow on both high river bank flood plains and low river bank flood plains. What is important about them thriving on high river banks that flood only once in 40 years is that this tells us that this willow seems to have good drought resistance as the high river banks that might be ten to fifteen feet above the normal river level will be extremely drought prone in the dry season being immediately next to the cut bank of the high river bank.
v) Flood Tollerance The 2011 one in one hundred year flood which had trees under water for up to five months killed most other tree species in a particular flood plain we had planted including willow trees. However the bamboo willow showed no flood related mortality.
We believe the spread characteristic and its ability to withstand both long term flooding and drought conditions makes this willow particularly suited for erosion control plantings on diverse riparian and lake side terrains. The over-all invasiveness of this indigenous species is not known but it appears to stay within 50 meters of the stream or river margin.
Laurel Willow Plant Characteristics
This tree is deciduous, fast-growing, and dioecious. The branchlets are smooth and glossy; young growth is sticky. This willow has unusually broad leaves for the genus and is distinctive because of the dark green colour, leathery texture, and shininess of its leaves, and it retains its leaves late into the fall. Laurel leaf willow can grow to a mature height of 8 to 15 m (26 to 50 ft) with a spread of 15 m (50 ft). It has an annual growth rate of 50 to 200 cm (1.5 to 6 ft) with between 25 to 60 useful years. It is the most successful willow species.
Bark - Old bark is grey and fissured; twigs are shiny and greenish to brown.
Buds - Yellow.
Leaves - leaves are alternate, simple, elliptic or ovate to 4 to 10 cm (1.5 to 4 in.) long, and 1 to 2 cm (0.5 to 0.75 in.) wide, finely serrated, glossy dark green on top and paler beneath. The petioles are yellow, 6 to 10 mm (0.25 to 0.5 in.) long. The catkins appear with the leaves. Propagated by cuttings.
Fall Colour - Green leaves remain late into fall.
Site Preference - Laurel leaf willow can be planted in full sun or half shade. It cannot withstand drought. It can tolerate some flooding. It likes moisture but not poorly drained soil. It prefers an organic soil. It will not tolerate alkaline soils.
Hardiness - Hardy. Will survive under extreme climatic conditions, liable to tip dieback when young (not as hardy as acute leaf willow).
Uses- Laurel leaf willow is planted as screening, parks planting, shelterbelt and single-stemmed specimen in a landscape situation. For shelterbelt situations, it should be planted with 2 to 4 m (6 to 13 ft) between trees in the row and 5 to 8 m (17 to 26 ft) between rows.
Problems- Somewhat susceptible to dieback. - Performs poorly in arid sites.
Diseases- Susceptible to chlorosis.
Insects- Moderately insect free.
Pruning - Allow it to develop multi-stems in shelterbelts. Prune only to remove dead, diseased or broken branches.
Golden Willow: Plant Characteristics Golden willow is distinguished by its shining golden twigs. The masses of bright golden yellow twigs are distinctly showy and may be considered as an ornamental asset to the winter scene. They are also used for wicker work and basketry. This fast-growing, deciduous shrub or tree can grow to a mature height of 7 to 12 m (23 to 36 ft), with a spread of 9 m (30 ft). It has an annual growth rate of 50 to 150 cm (1.5 to 3.5 ft), and a useful lifespan of 25 to 60 years.
Leaves - Leaves are alternate, simple, narrow- lanceolate, long-acuminate, serrulate, glaucous beneath and slightly silky; 4 to 10 cm (1.5 to 4 in.) long. Propagated by cuttings.
Fall Colour - Green leaves remain late into fall.
Site Preference - Golden willow can be planted in full sun or half shade. It likes moisture, but not poorly drained soil, and will not tolerate drought. It prefers organic soil, not recommended for grey-wooded soils, and will not tolerate alkaline soils.
Uses- Golden willows are used for accent planting, parks planting, shelterbelts, and single-stemmed landscape plantings. In shelterbelt situations this willow should be planted with 2 to 4 m (6 to 13 ft) between trees in the row and 5 to 8 m (17 to 26 ft) between rows.
Problems - Performs poorly on arid sites.
Diseases - Moderately disease free.
Insects - Moderately insect free.
Pruning - When the tree is young, it can be pruned to a single straight trunk, but also grows multi-stemmed especially in shelterbelts.
Silver Willow: Plant Characteristics: Silver Willow will grow to be about 50 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 50 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 5 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more.
This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is an amazingly adaptable plant, tolerating both dry conditions and even some standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments.
This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. Description: A durable and hardy shade tree with shimmering silver foliage all season long, adaptable to all soils, performs well even in standing water, makes an excellent windbreak; tends to drop branchlets, aggressive root system, so do not plant near homes
Ornamental Features: Silver Willow has attractive silver foliage throughout the season. The glossy narrow leaves are ornamentally significant but do not develop any appreciable fall colour. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant. The furrowed brown bark and yellow branches add an interesting dimension to the landscape.
Landscape Attributes: Silver Willow is a dense deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.
This is a high maintenance tree that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;
Silver Willow is recommended for the following landscape applications;
Windbreaks and Shelterbelts
DESCRIPTION OF TREE Good screen plant. Large pussy willow makes excellent spring bouquet with pinkish highlights. The deep spreading roots of the pussy willow make them a good choice for holding the soil on a hill and erosion control. Attracts wildlife such as birds, butterflies and bees. Its catkins are the first willow catkins to appear each year and are recognized as a sign of spring. LIFESPAN A long life spance relative to most other plant species and a rapid growth rate. GROWTH RATE Rapid.
SHAPE OF TREE Heights of up to 8 m (30 ft). Pussy willow trunks may be single / clustered with stout ascending branches and branchlets. SITE PREFERENCES Likes constant moisture and full or part sun. A boggy area of your landscape is preferable. Swamps, fens, stream banks, floodplains, march borders, ditches and other wet habitat.