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.

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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.
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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.
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The tips of this shoot turn a crimson red-orange.
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Tree spotlight: Salix alba var. vitellina

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