In Praise of Golden Weeping Willow Trees--Pictures
I post this topic to promote a tree that I think is not planted enough, and which people may not fully appreciate.
This tree is what I usually call a "golden weeping willow." There are a number of different weeping willows out there, the most popular and commonly available being the Babylon weeping willow. The Babylon willow has greenish twigs and does not display the color of the golden weeping willow. I believe, but I am not sure about this, that the Babylon willow needs more soil moisture. The golden weeping willow has good drought tolerance and can grow on medium dry sites. The golden weeping willow is more cold hardy also.
The golden weeping willow commonly goes under these names: Niobe weeping willow, Salix alba Ã¯Â¿Â½TristisÃ¯Â¿Â½, and Salix X sepulchral chrysostom. I cannot testify to the correctness of any of these names. I have also had suspicions that there may be two or more cultivars going under one or more of these names.
This first picture is of one I planted back of my house north of Winchester, VA, showing the autumn color. Trees in Z5 and colder may be frozen before the color develops, but in Z6 the color reaches its peak during the latter part of November.
The color continues in the winter--the golden twigs give the tree a color that lights up the winter landscape for us here.
And in spring the tree has a nice golden bloom.
The pictures above are of a tree that I grew from cuttings of a willow branch I found in a landscaperÃ¯Â¿Â½s dump.
The next group of pictures are of a mature willow growing in front of the Hampshire High School, just east of Romney, WV. This is a rather large tree, just under 4 feet DBH and close to 65 or 70 feet tall. The first picture is in spring, just after the golden bloom has faded.
This next picture is of the tree in all its summer glory.
And this final picture is looking up into the same tree.
These golden weeping willows are not for people who think trees are "messy." They drop trigs on the lawn that many people consider a bother--I donÃ¯Â¿Â½t. They grow large, so they need plenty of room. But they are not weak trees and are not especially prone to breakage. This tree near Romney is old enough to have seen many wind and ice storms, and I see no evidence that the tree has ever had any breakage.
If you have a fairly large lot, a golden weeping willow can be a landscape accent in any season that you will never tire of.