Species: Grey Willow (Salix cinerea subsp. oleifolia)

Family: Willows (SALICACEAE)

Category: Flowering Plants

Location: One Sighting

A. Flowering Plants

More extensive information on flowering plants can be found in a separate blog post.


Willows are a valuable resource owing to their fast growth, abundant new shoots (withies), and supple texture. Pollarding, the severe pruning at the crown, promotes new growth and extends the life of the tree. Pollarding is done on rotation every 2 - 15 years as required.

C. Grey Willow (Salix cinerea subsp. oleifolia)

This native, somewhat scruffy-looking tree, is very similar to the Goat Willow (of which there are many in the cemetery). They are similar to Goat Willows but with longer, thinner leaves. Twigs become hairless after two years of age, and can appear yellowish-red in sunlight (which is not the case with Goat Willows).

As with Goat Willow, Grey Willow trees are dioecious - male and female flowers grow on separate trees, relying on wind to disperse pollen.

Grey Willows usually hybridise with Goat Willows.

Although this is a reasonably common tree, it has not (knowingly) been seen in Heene Cemetery since the Site of Conservation Importance citation in 1992.