White Willow (Salix alba)

White Willow (Salix alba) is the largest species of willow, with mature trees growing up to 25m tall.

  • White Willow Tree  -  Salix Alba  -  Leaves
  • White Willow Tree  -  Salix Alba  -  Mature Tree

Useful info about White Willow trees

Latin NameSalix alba
TypeDeciduous (loses its leaves in winter)
HeightCan grow up to 25 m (82ft)
SpreadThe branches can spread out to 10 m (32ft)
Soil Types PreferredClay, Loam, Sand
Locations SuitableFarmland, Gardens, Parks
FlowersApril to May
FruitSeeds ripen in June
Celtic Tree MonthApril 15 - May 12

Similar Species


White Willow is fast growing, UK native tree that adds interest to any landscape with its silver leaves that shimmer when they rustle in a breeze.

It's a large tree, that can grow up to 25m in height, and it develops a wide irregular crown. It is often found close to water.

The name ‘white willow’ comes from the slender leaves, which are paler than other willow species.

It is noted for attracting wildlife.


White Willow is famous as the original source of salicylic acid (the precursor of aspirin), and several closely related species have been used for thousands of years to relieve joint pain and manage fevers.

The young stems are very flexible and are used in basket making.

The plant's rapid growth and wind tolerance make it a very good pioneer species to use in establishing woodland conditions in difficult sites.

White Willow's wood is elastic, soft, easy to split and does not splinter. It is used for construction, turnery, poles, tool handles, etc.

The wood is also used to make charcoal.


Any uses for trees or tree extracts, whether edible or medicinal, have not been tried or tested by EFORESTS.

Please take caution and seek proper advice before attempting any recipes or medicinal extracts from any of the trees listed on our site.

Culture and Symbolism

The White Willow tree is believed to represent survival, adaptability, fertility and new life.

Willows used to be associated with celebration but they are now associated with sadness and mourning. In northern regions willow branches are used, instead of palm branches, to celebrate Palm Sunday.

Click here to dedicate a tree to be planted in a woodland in England, Scotland or Wales

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