Sandbar Willow - Salix interior
The Sandbar Willow is a shrub tree with attractive green foliage and flowers. Its foliage is subtle, lending itself to blending rather than standing out as a focal point. The appearance of the Sandbar Willow tends to be bushy and dense in the shoreline areas. Trimming of the side shoots can produce a plant that is less bushy in appearance. It is an attractive plant whether trimmed or left in its natural state. This small tree can have beautiful long slender, gray leaves and appear ornamental. Planting in an ornamental garden is considered risky as it spreads widely and rapidly by underground stems. The growth rate is very rapid averaging three to four feet per year and reaches heights ranging from twenty to thirty feet at full maturity. Trunk width averages six inches at full maturity. This plant is a perennial whose active growth period is in the spring. Its lighting needs are flexible as it does well in partial shade, filtered sun, and full sun. Full shade is not recommended for the Sandbar Willow. Water needs are moderate as this plant thrives in wetland type settings. This plant is prized for its versatility in combining beauty with efficient uses. It quickly takes root and spreads rapidly in sandy soil conditions. It is valued for providing soil erosion control in areas prone to flooding. Gardeners find this plant particularly useful in problem spots where water runoff can cause soggy regions and erosion of valuable soil. If these areas are ignored, they can lead to mudslides and other unpleasant events. When used along streambanks this is a great plant to assist with stabilization of the shoreline. The Sandbar Willow is useful for helping with filtration for water quality improvement. Beavers have been known to snack on the branches of this plant and use it when building their dams. Another lovely virtue of this plant is the slender rods that are wonderful for basket making.