• Online nursery only
  • Orders from January 5, 2022
  • First shipping date: April 19, 2022

Characteristics of the tree

Height at maturity
6 meters (20 feet)
Spacing
2.5 meters (8 feet)
Soil
Moist
Sun / shade
Full sun
Flowering
Early April
Harvest
n/a
n/a (Dioecious)
Latin name
Salix viminalis
Also known as
Common Osier
Basket Willow is a graceful, vigorous and supremely useful shrub. Early settlers first introduced it to North America because of its merits as a material in basket-making. It is now naturalized in many areas.
Height
Availability
Price
1-3 feet, Red
TBA
$ 15.00
3-5 foot, Red
TBA
$ 19.00
1-3 feet, Yellow
TBA
$ 15.00
3-5 foot, Yellow
TBA
$ 19.00

We are currently closed. Opening for orders on the 5th of January 2022 at 10.00am EST!

Height at maturity
6 meters (20 feet)
Spacing
2.5 meters (8 feet)
Soil
Moist
Sun / shade
Full sun
Flowering
Early April
Harvest
n/a
n/a (Dioecious)
Latin name
Salix viminalis
Also known as
Common Osier

Basket Willows are exceptionally fast-growing trees, about 1 metre per year, and don’t require much, or even any attention to thrive. They are native to many parts of Europe and Asia. The individual stems have relatively short life spans, around 50 -70 years; but their tendency to shoot new stems from the roots, particularly when coppiced, and even shoot from branches that fall to the ground, allows the plant to persist indefinitely. They can grow to heights of 3-6 metres, spreads of 2.5 metres and grow best in full sun, being relatively intolerant of shade.

The plant is tolerant of all soil conditions but thrives on wet soils and is often found lining the banks of water sources. These trees have shallow but extremely extensive root systems, often extending out up to four times the size of the crown. The leaves are long and narrow, glossy green on top and silvery with a hairy texture underneath. They are one of the first trees to flower, with catkins appearing in early April before the leaves. Willow catkins are also a favourite of insects, particularly bees and butterflies for whom they are an important early source of pollen after the long winter.

Photo by Steve Fuller of © Willowpool Designs, reproduced with permission.

Basket Willows are famously elegant and beautiful, but also extremely

functional. Their shallow and spreading roots are used for erosion control along river banks. Their flexibility and rapid growth make for an excellent material to weave into any form one might desire: living fencing, chairs, windbreaks, gazebos, picnic tables. Truly the only limit is the imagination. As living willow sculptures become increasingly popular, it is amazing to see what some people can do with this tree!  Willows are also used to reclaim disused industrial or mining sites due to their ability to absorb heavy metal contamination. This is not the only environmental use of this species, as it is also employed to create small scale water treatment systems. It is the best and most commonly used plant in the production of biofuel. The leaves and inner bark are edible but not particularly palatable. The bark can be made into rope and has long been used in Chinese medicine and herbal medicine in general for its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. It contains salicin, which is metabolized into salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin.