Tree spotlight: Salix alba var. vitellina

Sitting next to one of the lakes within the large amenity park I visited last week, sat this line of what I suspect are Salix alba var. vitellina (golden willow). I had a few Salix alba var. vitellina ‘Britzensis’ (scarlet willow) planted alongside a large pond in the area in which I work, though have rarely come across this variety otherwise.

When kept as pollards or frequently coppiced (every 1-3 years), the young re-growth sports a delightful golden yellow-orange colour. As you can see from the images below, an otherwise rather dull landscape is brightened by the variety’s presence. If kept as a specimen tree, the growth at the extremities of the crown will have such colouration, though the distance away from the eye makes the use of this variety for such a purpose somewhat pointless.

As with all Salix alba, keep them away from roads, property, and other high target area, unless you are willing to put them on a frequent cycle of maintenance. However, if using this variety for its (likely) intended purpose, it can certainly grace the side of roads (and exist within gardens) and be worked as a hedge of sorts, providing year-round amenity value.

The vibrance of this line absolutely improves the amenity value of the area during winter. If the sun was out, the golden colouration would be much more apparent.
Looking more closely at an individual section, we can see how plentiful the re-growth is, and observe its contrast in colour compared to the stem.
The tips of this shoot turn a crimson red-orange.
Tree spotlight: Salix alba var. vitellina

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s