Golden Weeping Willow- Zone 4
Characteristics of the tree
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Golden weeping willows are a cross between the white willow (Salix alba) and the Babylon weeping willow (Salix babylonica). The creation of the hybrid dates back to 1888, and they have since spread all around the world as a popular ornamental tree. They are medium sized trees, capable of reaching 20 metres in height. Their broad canopies droop with long pendulous branches that give them their name. These trees have relatively short lifespans, rarely exceeding 60 years. They will grow best with plenty of sun in moist to wet locations such as lowland areas and riverbanks. The leaves are lanceolate, bright green on top and pale underneath. The bark has a golden colour on young shoots that deepens to brown with age, and the trunk develops significant ridges.
Golden weeping willows make great ornamental specimens. They are a striking addition to a landscape, although their tendency to drop a lot of twigs makes for a bit of a mess. Their very extensive root system can be a problem if they are planted too close to pipes and drainage. On the other hand, these extensive roots make them a great choice for erosion control along the edges of waterways. As with other fast-growing willows, there is a great deal of research in recent years looking into the potential of these trees in the creation of biofuel. The bark contains salicin, which is the precursor of salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin. It has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
Golden weeping willows are medium-sized trees, capable of reaching 20 metres in height in optimal conditions, with a spread of 10 metres. They have relatively short lifespans, rarely exceeding 60 years.
Willow trees have extensive root systems, which is advantageous if one wishes to control erosion, for example. However it is best not to plant them within about 10 metres of buildings or drains.
You should note that this illustration is meant only to give a general indication of what you can expect, and the growth of your tree might look somewhat different. The development of a tree depends on the soil type, irrigation, fertilisation and climatic conditions. What we show here is based on our observation of the growth of the willow in zone 4, in rather poor soil. In a colder climate it might be slower, and in richer soil it might be faster