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Salix babylonica L.

Sp.Pl. 2:1017 (1753)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status

Weeping tree, to 10 m high. Fl. Nov. Black peaty sand over clay. Creeklines.

Amanda Spooner, Descriptive Catalogue, 9 December 2002


IBRA Regions
Jarrah Forest, Swan Coastal Plain.
IBRA Subregions
Perth, Southern Jarrah Forest.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Albany, Bayswater, Harvey, Plantagenet, Swan.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

Alternative Names. Weeping Willow.

General Biology. Growth form. Tree. Reproduction. Seed, vegetative. Dispersal. Water (stem fragments), wind (seed). Time to first flowering. 4+ years. Vegetative regeneration strategy. Resprouts, produces root suckers, stem layering. Woody structure. Diffuse porous. Seedbank persistence. Short, days-1 year. Fire response. Green foliage and timber will burn in a hot fire. Established trees may be killed, younger trees may resprout.

Notes. Distinguished by its long slender weeping twigs. Earliest flowering tree willow. Serious creekline weed in eastern Australia. Frequently seen in gardens. Biological control of six willow species is under consideration in Australia. The species is not currently listed as a WONS, however it is still of concern for its potential to hybridise and spread in natural areas. In tree willows (subgenus Salix) the catkins emerge with the leaves, unlike shrub willows (subgenus Vetrix) where the catkins emerge well before the leaves. Readily grows from broken branches. Increases likelihood of bank erosion and large scale soil movement over time. Consumes large amounts of water. Massive leaf drop in autumn significantly affects water quality. Can form hybrids with S. alba and S. fragilis. Only female plants have been recorded in Western Australia.

Additional information. Origin. China. History of use/introduction. Garden escape, riverbank stabilisation. Similar exotic species. Salix matsudana, S. sepulcralis.

Suggested method of management and control. Hand pull seedlings. Cut and paint or stem inject using 50% glyphosate throughout the year, however results may be variable in spring. Check restrictions on chemical use near waterways. Follow-up monitoring and control of regrowth from stumps, pieces of stems or seeds may be required for 3-5 years after initial control. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Active Growth                          
Germination Y Y               Y Y Y  
Flowering               Y Y Y      
Fruiting                   Y Y    
Optimum Treatment Y Y Y Y Y Y Y O O O O Y  

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



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