Prices include delivery to mainland UK. £50 minimum order. 2022 wildflower seed harvest now coming in!

Crack Willow (Salix fragilis)

Crack Willow (Salix fragilis)

Crack Willow (Salix fragilis), like other Salix, is a fast growing tree with attractive flowers, valuable for wildlife. Salix fragilis prefers wet soils and is a feature of wetland areas like the Somerset levels, where it's pollarded to stop it splitting in old age. Like all the native species we sell, our willows are grown in the UK, and originally come from wild populations here. Please scroll down for more details.
Regular price
£4.35
Regular price
Sale price
£4.35
Unit price
per 
Availability
Relisting in summer for delivery from November 2022
Prices include VAT and delivery to mainland UK.

Crack Willow (Salix fragilis)

Small and rapid growing, Crack Willow pollards have lived as long as 1000 years across the UK. Unpollarded, they tend to split open under their own weight. Evelyn, writing in the 17th century when it was also known commonly as "sally" or "wully", thought the roots slower growing but deeper than other salix. There are an enormous number of species in the genus, of which apparently 27 are native to the UK. Crack willow is one of the biggest. Salix root easily and typically need wet conditions. They are useful hedge plants too in these conditions, where they will establish and grow on very quickly. They hybridise freely.

Value For Wildlife

They seem to be second only to the oaks in terms of dependent species, which include several small mammals. The Crack Willow is dioecious - male and female flowers appear on separate trees. Crack Willow male flowers are in the form of yellow catkins, which are an important source of early pollen and nectar for bees in the critical period of early spring, and are a food source for the caterpillars of the Comma.

Uses

Willow pollards are a defining characteristic of traditional lowland river and wetland landscapes like the Somerset Levels, and their rapid regrowth has led to biomass experimentation - we include them in our trees for wood fuel collection. Like other willows, Salix fragilis can be used for weaving. 

Plants For Sale

Like all our native trees and hedging, our crab apple plants have UK provenance and origin - that's to say they're British grown using seed from trees here.

Suppliers: Perrie Hale Forest Nursery, RV Roger

Your purchase of Crack Willow helps us support a range of charitieswhich are related to the products we sell.

See our planting and size guide for details and tips on planting. Our Crack Willow trees are all bare root, and are consequently available for delivery from November until March. During the lifting season there may be up to two week's delay between placing the order and dispatching, due to weather conditions or pressure of orders, which are dealt with in date sequence. Orders for Salix fragilis placed between March and September are confirmed in October ready for dispatch from November.

Size

  • Ultimate Height

    12m

  • Ultimate Spread

    8m

  • Time to Ultimate Height

    Over 20 years

Soil

  • Type

    Clay, loam, sand

  • pH

    Neutral, acid

Situation

  • Position

    Sheltered or exposed

  • Sunlight

    Full sun

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