The Q&A Archives: globe willow

Question: can you tell me about globe willows? do the roots to this tree go deep or shallow?
Thank you, Sandra

Answer: Globe Willow is Salix globosa. This tree is a round-headed upright branching, fast-growing tree that may reach 50 feet or more in height. It has slender green leaves and is said to be a very tough and hardy, and long-lived tree adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions, including deserts.

The tree's branching habit results in its globe shape. Multiple branches normally grow from the trunk, often starting at a height of 4 to 5 feet giving the topiary effect desired in many oriental gardens. From a distance it looks like these trees have been sheared into a perfect globe on a slender stem. These trees, however, are genetically designed to produce that shape.

Colorado State University advises against planting these trees because of their water needs and because they are subject to winter kill. Here's their take on the problems: "Globe willow are usually planted in lawn areas where they receive an abundance of water and fertilizer late into the fall. This may keep the tree from properly acclimating for winter, resulting in increased winter damage including the development of cracks. A tree "hardens" from the tips of the branches back toward the trunk. When numerous branches originate at or near the same point on the trunk, it takes an extended period of time before that area properly "hardens". These non-acclimated areas are especially susceptible to winter injury.

The lack of rapid and proper acclimation also may help explain why there are very few successes with the Globe Willow on the Front Range (the Eastern plains of Colorado), and many other parts of the nation. This tree does not appear to be able to withstand sudden changes of temperature, or the limb- breaking storms that are common in many areas."

The root system is deep and wide on a Globe willow and it needs lots of water.

Hope this information is helpful!

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