12 Different Types of Willow Trees Explained

willow tree

New homes in need of landscape options can default to the versatile willow. It’s exceptional for establishing shade trees because of its versatility and fast growth. Willows come in various species with remarkable variations in size, shape, and color. There’s a willow tree to suit almost any landscaping situation, and they’re not difficult to establish. Willows can beautify an otherwise plain and drab landscape and bring the benefit of shade from the heat of the sun. Here are twelve different types of willow trees, with descriptions and information about their care and maintenance to give you a few ideas.

1. Dappled Willow

Home Stratosphere suggests the Dappled Willow if you’re looking for a decorative shrub bursting with color. This member of the Willow Tree family has leaves that grow in shades of green, white, and pink. the tree changes colors with the seasons with pink coming through in the blooming season, fading to white and green colors. The branches turn bright red during the cool months for a brilliant display all year round. The dappled willow is a variant that complements any landscape as a focal point all year round. The dappled willow may be grown as a small tree or shrub, depending on how it’s pruned and shaped.

2. Coyote Willow

The Coyote Willow is another interesting variety. It is also called the Sandbar Willow. This species is native to North America and thrives in most climates within the United States. It is a decorative tree with shiny green leaves that fall from straight and slim branches. The average height of this tree at full maturity is up to 16 feet. It’s a fast-growing tree that has its place in the history of North America as a medicinal plant. Native people of the land used the bark to make medicinal teas and powders. It’s effective for treating dysentery and toothaches. It is also used to control dandruff outbreaks, for cosmetic purposes. The Coyote Willow was also used to make ropes, cradleboards, bows and arrows, fish traps, woven baskets, and more. It’s a straight-growing tree that grows with a manicured shape, unlike some other willows with knotted and twisted limbs.

3. Almond Willow

The Almond Willow is a native of Central Asia and Europe. This attractive tree came to be popular and was exported around the world. It’s recognized for its dark-green almond-shaped leaves that feature a dull finish. This lovely tree produces attractive catkins in the early part of spring when the new leaves form. It’s a lovely addition to any landscape, but the Almond Willow has a unique history. It’s used to produce nectar for Russian honeybees, making it a useful plant for the honey industry. The branches are used for basket-making throughout the world. The inner part of the bark is removed and dried, then ground into a powder. The powder is added to cereal flour for breadmaking. It is an edible plant with multiple practical uses. The Almond Willow doesn’t grow very tall, making it a good addition for small yards.

4. Dwarf Willow

The Dwarf Willow is also called a Snowbed Willow. This is a small tree that is more like a shrub, reaching a height of up to 5 cm. It’s a part of the willow family that is native to the Eastern regions of Canada and the North Atlantic. It’s a low-growing plant that is highly decorative with leaves shaped like sawteeth at the tips. The females produce red-tinted catkins and the males produce yellow catkins. This is one of the lowest growing members of the willow family. It’s ideal for brightening up any area of the landscape with delicate red and yellow colors.

5. Scouler’s Willow

Homesthetics suggests using the Scouler’s Willow for an ornamental tree. The Scouler’s Willow is native to the western region of North America. It’s one of the most drought-resistant willows in the family. It thrives in dry soil and is known to live for many years with little care. It’s not a big tree with a height ranging between 2 to 12 meters at full maturity. The bark is a dark brown color that contrasts nicely with the catkins and rusty colored hair that grows on its whitish-green leaves. The leaves are wider than most willow varieties, which can make you question if it’s a willow tree, but rest assured, it is. The wood is popular for carving, and the tree is planted in areas near bodies of water to control soil erosion. It’s a lovely plant that serves many purposes.

6. Peach Leaf Willow

The Peach Leaf Willow is one of the fastest-growing species within the willow family. It comes in a few different variants that may grow to heights between thirty to fifty feet tall. This variety is native to North America and is found growing in the wild in various parts of Canada and the United States. You will know the peach leaf willow by its leaves that look a lot like the leaves of a peach tree. This is how it got its name. The leaves have a wide and long shape with a greenish-yellow color. The catkins it puts off are yellow, which contrast nicely against the leaves and the bark. Unlike the Scouler’s Willow, the Peach Leaf Willow requires a lot of moisture to thrive. It grows wild near rivers, streams, and lakes. The lifespan of this tree is shorter than most other willows, but it shoots up fast and helps to control soil erosion. It’s easily propagated for new plants to replace those that have lived out their lifecycles.

7. White Willow

The White Willow is an ornamental willow tree. It grows native in Northern Africa, some parts of Central Asia, and Europe. This is a fast-growing willow tree. It can reach up to seventy feet at full maturity. The leaves are attractive with a silvery-white color on the underside. They’re green on the top. It is one of the first trees to put on leaves as winter comes to an end and spring is imminent. It holds on to its leaves until late in the fall. This tree is tolerant to most climate conditions other than drought, and it does well in polluted conditions. The White Willow tree works for soil erosion control in moist areas. The average lifespan of the White Willow is thirty years, but you must protect the White Willow tree from pests and common tree diseases because its branches and stems are weaker than most other willows. The White Willow will tolerate high amounts of moisture, but it is not hardy in drought conditions, nor does it do well in extreme shade. It needs full sunshine to thrive and grow.

8. Weeping Willow

The Weeping Willow is the most well-known and iconic member of the willow tree family. The plant is native to Northern China, but it’s been exported around the globe. It’s one of the most popular willow tree varieties in the world today. You can recognize a Weeping Willow by the shape of the branches that cascade downward, as though they’re sweeping the ground. The leaves are elongated with a light green color near the top and a greyish green color near the bottom. In early spring, the tender young leaves have a bright yellowish-green hue until they mature and turn darker. It has a distinct appearance that is easily recognized. The Weeping willow tree variety does the best when planted near a water source or gets regular watering. The tree can tolerate some drought, but not a lot. It prefers direct sunlight, but it can tolerate some shade. The Weeping Willow is a moderately tall tree. It is fast-growing and reaches a height between thirty to forty feet when fully mature. The length of the leaves is between three to six inches. It’s an exceptional shade tree that forms a canopy of relief from the heat of the midday sun. The bark of the Weeping Willow is a grey color which is an attractive feature for an ornamental shade tree for your landscape theme. The average lifespan of this tree is around thirty years under normal conditions.

9. Bebb Willow

Yardsurfer suggests that the Bebb Willow might make a lovely addition to your home landscape. This is a willow tree that grows best in rich soils with high moisture content. The Bebb Willow is an attractive tree featuring multiple stems with grey-tinted green leaves and hairlike growth as its best feature. The Bebb Willow is also called a long-beaked willow or a diamond willow. It shouldn’t be planted near other varieties of willow trees because it easily hybridizes with them unless you don’t mind a few surprise willow variations in your saplings. this tree is found growing in the wild along bogs, streams, and lakes. It’s among the most drought tolerant willow species and it can weather long periods of dry weather. The Bebb Willow is a good option if you live in an area with little rainfall, but it does need regular watering. The Bebb Willow has a short lifespan which can be shortened further by disease and damage by insects. If you protect it from these, it is a lovely addition to any landscape and is not difficult to propagate as it nears the end of its life cycle. This tree is useful. It’s planted near water sources to secure banks and prevent soil erosion. The spreading roots system holds the soil in place. The wood is suitable to make beautiful willow wood furniture. It’s not only a beautiful tree, but it is also functional.

10. Golden Willow

The Golden Willow is one of the most striking willow trees in appearance. The leaves are a vibrant golden-yellow color, growing from branches that grow as pendulums. The foliage is bright green in the early spring, turning to bright yellow in the fall. This tree provides three different colors as it changes from one season to another. The Golden Willow takes on the form of a Weeping Willow, creating a canopy of thick attractive foliage. It is an elegant member of the Willow species that grows up to 75 feet at full maturity. This willow species requires a wide-open space to open up and thrive to its potential. The Golden Willow tree provides marvelous shade during the summer months. It’s functional, but it is also attractive and will complement any landscape scheme with brilliant colors that are constantly changing through the seasons.

11. Corkscrew Willow

The Corkscrew Willow is a beautiful tree. It is called a few other names. It is also called a tortured willow and a curly willow because of the unique twisting growth of the branches. This willow tree produces long, graceful levels that cascade downward, revealing the twisted branches that become a focal point of any landscape when the leaves fall to the ground in fall and winter. The leaves are brilliant green in the early spring. They turn to deep green, then fade into vibrant yellow as summer fades to fall and winter. The Corkscrew Willow tree is highly ornamental, but it requires a great deal of maintenance and care. It is susceptible to insects and breakage, so extra care must be taken in pruning and protecting it. This tree can live for many years with the right care.

12. Japanese Pussy Willow

The Japanese Pussy Willow is one of the most ornate of the willow trees. This tree puts on a show when it produces its iconic fuzzy seed pods during the spring months. It grows into a round shape. Its vibrant green leaves grow on slender branches. The catkins feature a velvety aesthetic. They are also beautiful when the foliage drops and the wintertime comes, turning silvery in color. They change with the seasons and put on different shows to keep their audiences entertained all year round. The only drawback to the Japanese Pussy Willow is that it is prone to damage from pests and plant disease. It requires careful monitoring and care at the first sign of problems.

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