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Common Osier Willow - Salix viminalis

Common Osier Willow - Salix viminalis

From £3.60£4.32 Inc VAT
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Growth Rate: Quick Growth Rate: Quick

Characteristics
Plant Protection
Planting & Care
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Questions (3)
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The Common Osier, or Willow is a vigorous, fast-growing native shrub, often found in wet or damp situations in the countryside. The young stems are yellow in spring, and the yellow-green catkins attract a variety of insects. The Common Osier is best known as a source of stems for basket-making, but in recent years it has become familiar as the plant used to make living willow sculptures. Environmentally, it is useful for its ability to absorb heavy metals, and is planted to clean up contaminated sites.

Site and soil

Wet and boggy soils, chalk and coastal areas. Will do well on exposed and contaminated sites.

Height and spread

Below are the approximate stages of growth, assuming sited in suitable conditions for this species;

After 10 years: 5m x 5m
After 20 years: 5m x 5m

Leaf and bark

The leaves are glossy, linear and dark green up to 15cm long, silvery-hairy beneath. The bark is smooth and yellow-green on younger shoots.

Flower, seed and fruit

The flowers are greenish catkins, appearing in late winter/early spring before the leaves. The Common Osier is dioecious - male and female flowers are borne on different plants. The males have yellow anthers, and the green female flowers become more spiky before releasing their tiny seeds in June. When bought in quantity there is a good chance both sexes will be represented.

Uses

Screening, windbreak, damp woodlands, waterside planting, coppicing, contaminated sites. The Common Osier has the ability to absorb some heavy metals like cadmium, and is often planted to reclaim industrial sites. It is also planted to make small scale water treatment systems; waste water is passed through willow beds, which clean it for re-use. With a growth rate of about 1m per year, the Common Osier is now planted commercially for bio-fuel, although formerly its most familiar use was for basket-making and fencing. Salicylic acid, the active ingredient of aspirin, was originally extracted from the bark.

Wildlife

Important for reclaiming contaminated sites. The catkins provide early pollen and nectar for bees, and a range of butterflies and moths, including the Lackey Moth and the Herald Moth depend on the Common Osier.

The main reasons for buying protection is to protect the plants against:

  • Pests
  • Spraying
  • Strimming

Pests

When it comes to deciding what protection to choose the golen rule of thumb is to choose the product dependent on which pest you are protecting against. The below will help you in deciding what height of protection you will need.

Vole Rabbit Hare Roe Deer/Muntjac Fallow Deer
Vole, Mice
20cm
Rabbit
60cm
Hare
75cm
Roe Deer/Muntjac
1.20m
Fallow Deer
1.50m

 Download our full protection range as a printable PDF document.

Protection Options

Pest & Minimum Protection Height Protection Type
Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required
Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.
Vole
Vole, Mice
20cm
Vole Guard
20cm
None required
Pest & Minimum Protection Height Protection Type
Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required
Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.
Sorted by price; lowest to highest
Rabbit
Rabbit
60cm
Spiral Guard
60cm x 38mm, 60cm x 50mm
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs or 14-16lbs
Tubex Easywrap
60cm x 50-65mm
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs or 14-16lbs
Mesh Guard with Spray Shield
60cm x 130mm
2 x Bamboo Canes
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs or 14-16lbs
Tubex Fruitwrap
60cm x 65-80mm
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs or 14-16lbs
Tubex Ecostart
60cm x 57-73cm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Tree Shelter
60cm x 73-105mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Shelterguard Mesh Tube
60cm x 80-110mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Treeguard Mesh Tube
60cm x 80-110mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Shrub Shelter
60cm x 130-160mm, 60cm x 144-200mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Shrub Shelterguard Mesh Tube
60cm x 130-160mm, 60cm x 170-200mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Tubex Treeguard Mesh Tube for Shrubs
60cm x 130-160mm, 60cm x 170-200mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
75cm x 25mm, 75cm x 32mm
Pest & Minimum Protection Height Protection Type
Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required
Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.
Sorted by price; lowest to highest
Hare
Hare
75cm
Tubex Easywrap
75cm x 50-65mm
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs, 14-16lbs or 1.20m x 20-22lbs
Spiral Guard
75cm x 50mm
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs, 14-16lbs or 1.20m x 20-22lbs
Tubex Fruitwrap
75cm x 65-80mm
Bamboo Cane
90cm x 9-11lbs, 12-14lbs, 14-16lbs or 1.20m x 20-22lbs
Tubex Ecostart
75cm x 57-73mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Tubex Tree Shelter
75cm x 73-105mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Tubex Combitube
75cm x 73-105mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Tubex Shelterguard Mesh Tube
90cm x 80-110mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Tubex Treeguard Mesh Tube
75cm x 80-110mm, 90cm x 80-110mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Tubex Shrub Shelter
75cm x 130-160mm, 75cm x 144-200mm
Square Sawn Tree Stake
90cm x 25mm, 90cm x 32mm
Pest & Minimum Protection Height Protection Type
Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required
Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.
Sorted by price; lowest to highest
Roe Deer/Muntjac
Roe Deer/Muntjac
1.20m
Tubex Tree Shelter*
1.20m x 73-105mm, 1.20m x 80-120mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.20m x 32mm, 1.35m x 32mm
Tubex Combitube*
1.20m x 73-105mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.20m x 32mm, 1.35m x 32mm
Tubex Shelterguard Mesh Tube*
1.20m x 80-110mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.20m x 32mm, 1.35m x 32mm
Tubex Treeguard Mesh Tube*
1.20m x 80-110mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.20m x 32mm, 1.35m x 32mm
Galvanised Mesh Tree Guard*
1.20m x 300mm
*Not recommended for this species
Machine Rounded Tree Stake
1.20m x 50mm, 1.50m x 50mm
Pest & Minimum Protection Height Protection Type
Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required
Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.
Sorted by price; lowest to highest
Fallow DeerFallow Deer
1.50m
Tubex Tree Shelter*
1.50m x 80-120mm, 1.80m x 80-120mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.50m x 32mm, 1.80m x 32mm
Tubex Combitube*
1.50m x 80-120mm, 1.80m x 80-120mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.50m x 32mm, 1.80m x 32mm
Tubex Shelterguard Mesh Tube*
1.50m x 80-110mm, 1.80m x 80-110mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.50m x 32mm, 1.80m x 32mm
Tubex Treeguard Mesh Tube*
1.50m x 80-110mm, 1.80m x 80-110mm
*Not recommended for this species
Square Sawn Tree Stake
1.50m x 32mm, 1.80m x 32mm
Galvanised Mesh Tree Guard*
1.80m x 300mm, 1.80m x 600mm
*Not recommended for this species
Machine Rounded Tree Stake
1.80m x 60mm

Spraying

Tubex tree shelters offer the benefit of not only protecting against animal damage, they also ensure that herbicides do not come into contact with the plants during spraying.

The main reason for spraying is weed control, however, there are other options available to suppress weeds. Our accessories section includes weed control matting, fertilisers & wildflower seed.

Strimming

Young plants should be protected from damage caused when strimming. To protect plants solely for strimming, our strimmer guards are the ideal product.

Planting

Can be used as part of a mixed species hedge.

We recommend 5 plants per metre.

Follow this link to our 'Planting Advice' page for more detailed information on how to plant your plants.

We would often advise that you consider using 'Rootgrow' for your bare root plants. Rootgrow simply speeds up an existing natural process. The fungi contained in Rootgrow will begin to colonise the plant or tree roots, extending the root system into the surrounding soil via an extensive network of fungal filaments. 

The benefit of Rootgrowis that it enhances a plants root system so a newly planted plant:

  • Finds more food, finds more water.

  • Needs less fertiliser.

  • Establishes quicker and reduces failure rates (which can be improved even further when used in conjunction with Broadleaf P4)

  • Has increased tolerance to drought and difficult soil conditions

We also have a handy Welfare Guide that includes information on how to check your plants on arrival, how to plant them and also how to look after them. This is sent out with each delivery of bare root plants, but it can be downloaded from our advice pages.

Aftercare

For coppicing, the stems are cut down to ground level in winter. For bio-fuels, the cycle is every 3-4 years, for basket making , every 1-2 years.

Readily available advice

For additional information on planting and maintaining your plants, please see our advice pages.

We provide extensive articles, tips, and even tutorial videos, ideal for beginners and those with previous planting experience.

 

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Hi. As part of a new wastewater treatment system it was suggested we plant a willow bank. The measurements of the bank suggested is 30m x 10m which is quite a large space, how many plants to you think I would need (300sqm x 5 = 1500. Could this be right?) Also, could I mix with other willow species and if so what would you recommend?

Thank you for your question.

We would recommend you plant one per metre and that you can mix most other Willows, not Salix alba or fragilis though. We think you would be looking at a total of 300 plants.  

Hope that helps you, regards the Trees and Hedging Team.

I wish to plant willow along a stream bank adjacent rather boggy ground. Two reasons; a screen from adjoining housing development and to attempt to dry out the boggy ground. What willow would you recommend and at what distance apart should I plant them? A mix would be nice.

Thank you for your question.

We recommend that you plant five plants to the metre evenly spacked and that for the situation you are describing we suggest Common Osier Willow, Goat Willow and Grey Willow. If you follow the links below it will take you to those pages. However a local landscape gardener may be able to better advise by visiting the site

http://www.treesandhedging.co.uk/common-osier-willow-salix-viminalis/p474  

http://www.treesandhedging.co.uk/goat-willow-salix-caprea/p471 

http://www.treesandhedging.co.uk/grey-willow-salix-cinerea/p473

Hope this helps you, regards the Trees and Hedging Team

How many plants to make a hedge approximately 8m space?

Thank you for your question.

New hedgerows should be planted in two staggered rows 30cm apart. Between four and six plants per metre should be planted. We generally recommend five plants per metre. 

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