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Willow - white (Salix alba)

Salicaceae family

Code: Salix alba
  • £1.10 (ex. VAT)
Item in Stock   |   Delivery within a few days

Key Features

White willow (Salix alba) is

- Suitable as a woodland tree or urban tree

- Non-native

- Deciduous

- Good in wet areas

- Safe to plant near livestock (non-toxic)

Grown on our farm in Herefordshire. Buy with confidence - read our customer reviews.

The specifications shown below are our normal range but we often have additional options.  If there is something that you are looking for, it's often worth contacting us.

Please Email Us or call 01989552028 if you would prefer to order on the phone or have any questions or to discuss a discount for larger quantities.



British Grown
Minimum Order Value £1000 +VAT
Free delivery over £3,000+VAT*
Trade terms available for orders over £5,000+VAT
Planting Essentials
Bagging Options
Product Options Height Age Root Type Specification 1+ 100+ 500+ Quantity Qty
Salix alba (White Willow) Height: 60-80cm Age: 1 yr Root Type: Bare Root Specification: 0/1 Salix alba (White Willow) 1+ £1.50 (ex. VAT) 100+ £1.25 (ex. VAT) 500+ £1.10 (ex. VAT) Please Purchase in Multiples of: 25
60-80cm 1 yr Bare Root 0/1 £1.50 (ex. VAT) £1.25 (ex. VAT) £1.10 (ex. VAT)
Total: £0.00 (ex. VAT)

Our range of White willow (Salix alba) bare root plants

We have bare root Salix alba plants in several sizes.  The 1+0 specification are seedlings (often called whips) which are grown from hardwood cuttings (rather than from seed as are most bare root plants), which are planted in spring and are sold during the following November to April months ie they are one year old.  The cuttings are taken from top quality mother plants kept in stock beds.

White Willow (Salix alba) Summary

White willow is an imposing beautiful tree.  It is the largest willow species with pale coloured foliage generally found and planted in wet ground.  The pale colour comes from the white felted undersides to the leaves.

Whilst not the “weeping willow” which is a completely different variety (Salix babylonica or Salix sepulcralis Chrysocoma neither of which we sell but try white willow does also have a weeping habit. The bark has historically been used for medicinal purposes as an aspirin alternative.  Stems have a weeping habit and are flexible.  White willow is not a particularly long living tree – about 30 years would be the norm.

Soil and Situation

White willow does best planted in a wet situation, on the bank of a stream or river or in very wet ground but will grow in drier soils.  They grow well in acid, neutral or alkaline soil as long as it is deep and loamy and they like full sun or pretty much full sun.

Leaves, flowers and fruits

The alternate leaves are long (up to 10cm) and narrow (up to 1.5cm), white felted underneath and with finely serrated margins.  The greyish/yellow catkins (male and female on the same tree) are pollinated by insects and the female catkins become longer and develop white downy capsules which are carried on the wind.

Eventual height and growth rate

Eventual height of white willow is up to 30m and the growth rate is fast.




This section gives definitions on the specifications of plants that we sell.  We are specialists in field grown (or bare root) plants which are grown in two ways.  The majority are grown from seed, some are ready within one growing season (seedlings or 1+0's) and some species require two growing seasons (1u1's).  In addition to growing from seed we also grow from small plants or cuttings (transplants) which are much more widely spaced (taking more land, more irrigation water, fertilisers and labour).  There are only a handful of bare root wholesale nurseries in the UK and of those even fewer grow transplants but Ray Jenkins has many years' experience of transplanting so we grow these in large volumes.  Ray has written this blog about the benefits of bare root plants and how they are grown and another blog which gives further detail on bare root specifications.

The detailed specifications are shown below.  If you are in doubt about what specification to use please email us on with a description of the project (and photos if appropriate) and we will advise you.

1+0 - field grown in one season from seed, known as a seedling (sometimes called a whip), generally a slender single stem plant.   These are the cheapest specification and are particularly suitable for planting where weed competition will be less intense, soil is shallow or on exposed windy sites.  Gives a high root to shoot ratio and minimal plant "check".

2+0 - a 2 year seedling, field grown from seed in the same seed bed in two growing seasons where the species cannot be grown to a saleable plant from seed in one season

1U1 - 2 year old plant called an undercut, field grown for two seasons in the same seed bed and undercut by machine (a sharp blade cutting the roots under the soil level) after the first year to develop the root structure. We do this with several species which take 2 years to develop (eg oak, beech, hornbeam)

1+1 - 2 year old plant (transplant) grown from seed in the first year and then transplanted into a different area of the field and spaced out for the second growing season - a robust plant with a larger and more robust root system than seedling or undercut plant which will enable it to better withstand drought and weed competition. Often the best choice and the staple norm for farm hedging and this specification is a requirement of the Countryside Stewardship Grant

1+2- a 3 year old plant, two years field growing in the seedbed and then transplanted (and spaced out) for a further two growing seasons giving a tall, stocky, bushy plant

2+1- a 3 year old plant, two years field growing in the seedbed and then transplanted (and spaced out) for a further growing season, giving a strong bushy plant

3+1 - as above but field grown for a further growing season for more height and a very bushy plant

1+3- 4 year old, one year field growing in the seed beds and then transplanted (and spaced out) for three years, giving a very strong, bushy plant

2+2- 4 year old, two years field growing in the seed beds and then transplanted (and spaced out) for a further two years - a very mature plant suited to certain species like beech and hornbeam where we can offer almost instant hedging

and some that are a bit different.....

P9 - a plant grown in a greenhouse or polytunnel in a 9cm pot (for holly which germinates poorly in the field)

Cell grown - a plant grown in small deep cells (like a small yogurt pot) and then lifted out of those for transportation. Commonly used in forestry and large hedging projects.  Very high quality plants with excellent success rate.  See our blog on the benefits of cell grown plants.

C+1 or C+2 - a 3 or 4 year old plant initally started as hardwood cuttings grown on for a year as cell grown plants and then lined out in fields to grow on for a further 1 or 2 years (a technique used for Cherry Laurel)

0/1 - a hardwood cutting, then field grown for one season (for example for white willow, black poplar and osier)