Salix alba var. caerulea  

alba = white, caerulea = blue  

Cricket Bat Willow

This is a magnificent specimen tree that is pyramidal and can grow to 100ft. The leaves are glossy green above; silvery, becoming blue on the underside--very showy when the wind blows. After a few years the brilliant yellow flowers burst open in early May and are an abundant treat for bees! The young stems and trunks are bright green and darken with age; so it can be coppiced to produce lots of young, bright green stems for winter color and arrangements. There aren’t too many bright green colors in a Northern winter--native conifers are usually dark green. Likes full sun, moist soil and grows well beside a pond, stream or river. As with all vigorous trees, don’t plant near drainage pipes. Native to Europe. Hardy to Zone 4. Dried rod color: red-brown to red-tan

USES: Cricket bats, furniture, firewood, ornamental tree.

Cricket-bat Willow in the nursery. A stunning specimen tree in late July!

Cuttings were kindly shared by the great people at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston 2009.

Below: how the same tree looked in April 2015.

Bark of a young tree in the nursery, late March.


The male catkins of our Cricket Bat Willow explode in early May with yellow tassels that bees find irresistible!


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These male catkins open with the leaves (botanically coetaneous) and put on quite a show!

A male catkin is a delight to study in detail.

The shape provides a perfect landing site for the many bees and other insects that pollenate willows

The Wonderful World of Willows

Vermont Willow Nursery

$12.50 per bundle of 5

Bright green bark of coppiced young stems in early April.

Young stems turns red in late April. The male flower buds line the stems. Probably too twiggy for Basketry?