Salix alba 'Britzensis' (Scarlet Willow)
Bareroot from November to April
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The Scarlet Willow, a variant of the White Willow, can potentially make a tall tree, but it is more often coppiced as a multi-stemmed shrub for its colourful stems. The young stems are a vivid red and make a colourful statement in the landscape. Especially good near water, where it does best, and where its impact is doubled by the reflection.
Site and soil
Will cope with most soils except those which are very dry, but does best in damp and wet situations. Good in exposed or coastal locations, but needs sun or semi-shade.
Height and spread
After 10 years: 10m x 30m
After 20 years: 10m x 30m
Leaf and bark
The leaves are lance shaped and grey-green to 10cm. The bark on young stems is a vivid orange-scarlet.
Flower, seed and fruit
Green male and female catkins are borne on separate trees in early spring. The females release the fluffy seeds in May.
Landscaping, gardens, screens, barrier planting along watersides where there is public access, coastal planting, coppicing, pollarding. The Scarlet Willow is much in demand for flower arranging and can also be used for basket making, fencing and living willow sculptures.
The flowers provide food for insects in spring. The coppiced stems give cover and shelter to birds and small mammals.
Pollarding and coppicing should be carried out in early spring every 1-2 years.