Bay Willow (Salix pentandra)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Bay Willow
Give a thumbs up Laurel Willow

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 2 -45.6 °C (-50 °F) to -42.8 °C (-45°F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 6b
Plant Height: 30 to 35 feet
Plant Spread: 25 to 35 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Other: 1 to 2 inch long cylindrical catkins
Dynamic Accumulator: Mg (Magnesium)
Resistances: Flood Resistant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Pollinators: Bees

full-grown tree

Photo gallery:
Location: Austin T Blakeslee Natural Area in northeast PADate: 2019-07-01full-grown tree
By ILPARW
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Location: Austin T Blakeslee Natural Area in northeast PADate: 2019-07-01very dome-shaped specimen, compact oval form
By ILPARW
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Location: Austin T Blakeslee Natural Area in northeast PADate: 2019-07-01summer foliage
By ILPARW
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Location: Austin T Blakeslee Natural Area in northeast PADate: 2019-07-01summer leaves
By ILPARW
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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jul 10, 2019 9:18 AM

While I was visiting the beautiful Austin T. Blakeslee Natural Area in northeast Pennsylvania, I first saw some very shiny leaved willows that looked like large shrubs and thought they were the Shiny or Greenleaf Willow (Salix lucida), but then I saw a number of trees about 35 feet high that were the same plant. After some research, they must be the Laurel Willow (Salix pentandra) that is noted by Dr Michel Dirr in his Manual of Woody Landscape Plants that have such "lustrous, polished, shimmering green leaves" about 2 to 5 inches long with fine teeth on the margins, and that are definite trees about 30 to 35 feet high with a "compact oval habit," when middle-aged. They apparently, spread more irregularly when getting older. Actually, it can get to 45 feet high and even to about 60 feet high in its native range. This species is from northern Europe and Asia and has escaped cultivation in the eastern US in some locations. Dr. Dirr noted that he saw some specimens in central Illinois that had no leaves left on them in August due to leaf disease in the 1980's or 90's. Otherwise, I've only seen one specimen years ago at Morton Arboretum in northeast Illinois. Therefore, it seems to me that his species is not really invasive in most areas of the USA.

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