Salix miyabeana ‘Winter Green’

S. miyabeana selection

This vigorous grower is a great selection of Salix miyabeana; probably from the Breeding program at the University of Toronto. It grows to 30ft or more unless coppiced. It differs from S. miyabeana in having few or no stipules at the base of the leaves in Spring, but they are present on new growth. It has fresh young stems are a very bright green and striking in the winter landscape. It’s one heck of a vigorous grower. In one year after coppicing it grows 8-12ft with very few branches (in 2014 it had stems 14ft long in a perfect growing year!). It is a male flowered selection that produces masses of pussy willows that bees absolutely love.

USES: It’s one of the best varieties for living fences and structures, as well as coarse basketry. Incidentally beavers love this willow, I put an electric fence in front of these plants in the nursery set at 8in above the ground to keep them out--it worked (it doesn't work for rabbits, maybe woodchucks....?)

Freshly cut stems ready for  a living structure, with young flowers on twigs from the top of the rods.


Male catkins expand to 2-3in long (typical of S. miyabeana)

and have tiny leaf scales at their base. Late-March.

‘Winter Green’ in the nursery in early October.

That’s a 5ft stake in front of them showing how tall they row in one year after coppicing. The front plants were coppiced by beaver earlier in mid-summer!

I created this wattle out of 'Winter Green' in about 30 minutes to save our tulips from being knocked down by our dogs chasing squirrels and chipmunks. This is ‘River’, one of our two Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retrievers.

Below: foliage of 'Winter Green' is similar to miyabeana, but more refined.

NB: no stipules on these stems. Shown in mid-June

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Rods of 'Winter Green' (left) with the coarser S. miyabeana being presoaked for shipping to encourage root initials to form.

Overwintering catkin buds of 'Winter Green' with the long narrow stipules typical of Salix miyabeana.

Late October.

'Winter Green' is a male selection with bright stems and long rods. Bees love it! Above late-April.

right: As you can see we still have snow in April (12-16in here), the reason we can't ship earlier.

'Winter Green' showing off its

bright green stems and long rods.

Below: Male catkins in various stages of development. Early-April.

When 'Winter Green' is in flower, bees appear in clouds to gather the nectar and pollen.

Those black dots at upper right are some of the bees! Late-April

The undersides of the leaves are bluish-green. Shown in late September.

right: in late October the leaves turn golden yellow.


of Michael Dodge