Salix fragilis (Crack Willow)

Crack Willow


Bareroot from November to April

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Trees & Hedging
You can pre-order these plants from our webshop from 1st June, for delivery mid-November onwards.

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Non-trade pricing

Price £ each (ex. VAT)
Height Age 1+ 25+ 100+ 500+ 1000+
60-80cm 0+1 0.69 0.45 0.40 0.38 0.35

Trade / wholesale enquiries

Discounted trade / wholesale prices are available upon request.
Please contact the office for a quotation or a trade price list.

Minimum order values
Please note that there is a minimum order value of £50.00 + VAT, excluding delivery, for existing customers and £75.00 + VAT, excluding delivery, for new customers. Orders under those values can be placed via Trees & Hedging, our online webshop.


Delivery to UK mainland is included for stock orders over £750 + VAT (subject to postcode surcharges). For full details on delivery, please view our delivery page.


The Crack Willow is a large native tree, usually found near waterways and on riverbanks. It gets its name from the fact that its branches break off easily with a sharp crack; when this happens naturally, the broken piece often roots into the soil near the parent tree. Ideal for planting on riverbanks and in boggy areas, the dense root system of the Crack Willow helps to prevent erosion.

Site and soil

Damp riverbanks and boggy areas. Will tolerate very low oxygen levels in the soil. Avoid dry soils.

Height and spread

After 10 years: 10m x 9m
After 20 years 15m x 15m

Leaf and bark

The leaves are glossy and large, to 15cm, lance shaped with toothed margins. They are dark green, blue-green on the undersides. The bark is brown with thick ridges; young shoots have a red-brown tint.

Flower, seed and fruit

The Crack Willow is dioecious, that is male and female flowers are borne on separate trees. Male catkins are yellow, females green, opening in early spring. The fluffy seeds are released from female catkins in May.


Boggy areas and on damp riverbanks where the dense root system will help prevent erosion. Formerly Crack Willow was pollarded to help keep waterways clear of fallen branches and allow light to the water; the pollarded stems were used for baskets and fencing.


Early pollen for a range of insects. Several moth larvae including the Brimstone and Eyed Hawk Moth feed on the leaves. The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker searches for grubs in the bark and more insects colonise trees which have become hollow in the centre.


Pollarding should be done on a 5-10 years rotation in winter.