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Crack Willow, Salix fragilis, is a large, wide spreading deciduous waterside tree with dark green leaves and catkins in spring. The tree has beautifully fissured bark when it is mature and an upright canopy. Fallen branches are so good at rooting in wet soil that in some parts of the country, a single crack willow has cloned itself for long stretches of river bank. All willows are good for bees and butterflies. Salix fragilis gets its name because its branches break (relatively) easily in the wind.
See our selection of willow hedging plants or view our full range of hedging.
Crack Willow plants are only delivered bareroot, during winter (Nov-March). All of our young trees and shrubs are measured by their height in centimetres above the ground (the roots aren't measured).
History & uses of Salix fragilis
This tree is closely related to Salix alba.
Notes on planting Crack Willow:
Crack Willow trees will grow on any sunny site with moist or wet soil, apart from chalk.
Prepare your site before planting:
It is good to dig over the area where you intend to plant several months in advance. Destroy the weeds first: nettles, brambles and ground elder are tough and a glyphosate based weed-killer is the best way to remove them. Then dig the soil over; remove rocks, roots and other rubbish. Mix in well rotted compost or manure down to the depth of about 2 spades.
If you have a heavy clay soil, it might be too difficult to dig over for most of the year. Heavy clay is fertile soil, so you don't really need to improve it; killing the weeds is still necessary.
Remember to water establishing plants during dry weather for at least a year after planting.
Prepare your site for planting by killing the weeds and grass with Roundup weed killer.
If you are planting in an area with rabbit and/or deer, you will need to use a protective plastic spiral for each plant, supported by a bamboo cane.
If your soil quality is poor, we recommend using mycorrhizal "friendly fungi" on the roots of new trees and shrubs.
You can also improve your soil with bonemeal organic fertiliser and Growmore.
Read our full terms and conditions here.
Delivery: The basic delivery charge for orders of bareroot plants is £6.50 + vat, which increases to £12.55 + vat if you add any pot-grown plants, standard trees or fruit trees to the order.
Because couriers sometimes experience delays, we schedule delivery by week, not by day. Therefore, please plan your planting day for the weekend at the end of the delivery week or for the week following delivery, at the earliest.
We will email you the day before your plants are due to arrive.
*Surcharges to the Highlands and Islands still apply.
Payment: We do not charge your card until we begin to prepare your order for packing.
Guarantee: If any plants die within a year, we will replace them. We only ask that you follow our planting & growing instructions and sent us clear photographs of the dead plants in situ, so we can help to make sure that the replacement plants succeed. You only pay for the delivery of the replacements.
Please note that our guarantee is void if there is a hosepipe ban in your area: your newly planted hedging must be watered in dry weather while it is establishing. The best way to water is very thoroughly every few days: at least once a week if there is no heavy rain.
Our nursery has been supplying container grown and bareroot hedging plants to gardeners, farmers and town planners since 1949. Our website started in 2003, so we do understand the concerns that you may have about buying hedging plants online. If any of your plants are damaged when they arrive or if you are otherwise not satisfied with your order after you inspect it, please repackage it and contact us. We will give you a refund or send replacements and send a courier to come and collect the unwanted plants.
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