Salix babylonica 'Oberli'

(babylonica = a mistake by Linnaeus, as he aumed that it originated in that part of the world.)

Oberli Weeping Willow

NEW FOR 2019

I visited  June 2018 I visited Yunnan China with a group from the North American Rock Garden Society. I saw many, many willows in the wild (Yunnan has over 100 native species). The think what startled me the most though was seeing Salix babylonica in the wild for the first time and also seeing it planted as a street tree in many of the cities we visited. Sometimes it was planted alongside the curly willow (Salix babylonica 'Tortuosa') and an upright selection of Salix babylonica that I had never even heard of!  I have been using the Japanese species name Salix matsudana for forms of curly willows and the Globe or Navajo Willow. However, seeing them in China made me realize that I was mistaken to do so and that they are all selections of Salix babylonica (except for Salix xerythroflexuosa that is a hybrid). Because of the variations in other curly willows, some of them may be hybrids also. This nomenclature has recently confirmed by Dr Irina Belyaeva, the now retired Director of the Kew Herbarium and formeost expert on the genus Salix.

In 2017 a lovely Swiss gentleman from Boise, Idaho named Walter Buechler allowed me to  take cuttings of Salix babylonica that he received from another Swiss Salicologist, Heinz Oberli (whose collection of 600 Salix species probably no longer exists). I did not expect it to survive our Zone 3 winters, but lo and behold it not only survived, it thrived and is the most vigorous Salix amongst a collection of around 50 willows from Walter. So I had to find out about how it could possible survive Vermont's bitter winters. Walter told me that Herr Oberli collected cuttings of this plant from the Langtang Valley in Tibet at 3450 meters (11,320ft), the reason for its unusual hardiness. After consulting Walter about a clonal name for this selection he requested that it should be called 'Oberli' in recognition of the great Salicologist who made this extraordinary find. In Spring 2019 I will have a few cuttings of this clone available, as I want to use the rest to build up stock of this great selection. Salix babylonica is sold in North America but as it is not hardy in zones below Zone 6, there are many other weeping willows sold under this name in Northern States.  Hardy to Zone 4.

USES: the ultimate weeping willow!

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The Wonderful World of Willows

Vermont Willow Nursery

Salix babylonica 'Oberli' at 18 months from cuttings in the nursery.

$14.50 per bundle of 5

Simple Tunnel/Arch 10ft

CODE: KTU10  Simple Tunnel 10ft

This comes in 10 ft lengths, 5ft wide and 5ft high

The kit to make this tunnel includes the following:

18 heavy rods ~96in for verticals

32 medium rods 84-96in for weavers

6 medium rods for horizontals

2 pieces 12x2ft 6 mil black polyethylene

marked where to make holes for the rods.

24 rust-resistant metal staples to hold down the plastic

100 rubber ties

Building directions


PRICE: $380.00

Shipping charges will be calculated and invoiced when ready to ship.

Simple Tunnel/Arch 10ft

CODE: KTU10  Simple Tunnel 10ft

This comes in 10 ft lengths, 5ft wide and 5ft high

The kit to make this tunnel includes the following:

18 heavy rods ~96in for verticals

32 medium rods 84-96in for weavers

6 medium rods for horizontals

2 pieces 12x2ft 6 mil black polyethylene

marked where to make holes for the rods.

24 rust-resistant metal staples to hold down the plastic

100 rubber ties

Building directions


PRICE: $380.00

Shipping charges will be calculated and invoiced when ready to ship.