Q. How can I grow and care for a willow bush?
Willows (Salix) can be trees or shrubs ranging in sizes from dwarf shrubs tolarge noble trees. There are 250 to 300 species,native to Europe to Japan, but with about 75 now occuring in North America.
They are very easy to grow in full sun and most any soil, particularly those that are moist, in zones 4 to 8. The male has fuzzy catkins and a quite attractive fruit capsule, with a number of cottony or silky, hairy seeds. These are carried on air currents and moisture is required for germination. Dormant stem cuttings placed in the soil can root.
Popular pussy or goat willow (Salix caprea) although considered a shrub, has the habit of a small tree growing 25 ft high, and 15 ft. wide at maturity, It's yellowish brown to dark brown stems are studded with, purple-brown buds that open to expose soft, furry, 1- to 2-in, -long, grayish male catkins in March and April. The branches can be cut and forced earlier in water for use in arrangement indoors.
Courtesy of the NYBG Plant Information Service
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