Salix alba ‘Silver Column’  

alba = white  

Upright Silver Willow

A selection of the Silver Willow (S. alba v. sericea) with beautiful silver foliage that was found at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston and is one of the most beautiful of all upright deciduous trees. Our cuttings came from a Gary Koller in 2009 who was Horticulturist at the AA for many years. Grow in full sun in average to moist soil. It flowered for us for the first time in May 2017 and this is a female selection (photos lower left). As with all vigorous trees do not plant near drainage pipes or septic systems. Hardy to Zone 3.

USES: medium-sized upright ornamental tree ‘Silver Column’ makes a great substitute for the Lombardy Poplar that is so disease prone. Makes a great screen, in nearby St Albans their is a row of Silver Willows hiding an auto-dealer!

An eight-year old ‘Silver Column’ four years after we transplanted it from the nursery in April 2013

A group of young plants in the nursery.

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'Silver Column' in the nursery with S. matsudana 'Caradoc' to the left.

Above and right: Fine silky hairs create the silver coloration of the leaves.

They really sparkle in sunshine when the wind is blowing and the whiter undersides flash!

Above and below.

FINALLY! After taking many, many photos of the Silver Willow I finally captured what this willow really looks like!

As you can see at left, the camera "sees" green, whereas the human eye sees silver. 'Twas a dull, drab day in July!

Salix alba is not known for its brittleness, but on October 22, 2016 we had 5-6in of heavy wet snow with the leaves still on the trees. Lots of damage done!

below: 'Silver Column' flowered for the first time in mid-May 2017,

nine years after receiving our cuttings. It's a lady!

left: in late October the new branches are covered with fine hairs, as are next springs catkin buds. These buds are not as flat as typical alba buds.


of Michael Dodge