GOLD AND SILVER DAWN
GOLDEN WEEPING WILLOW
Wednesday, 8:15 AM. 48 degrees, wind WNW, calm. It is a quiet morning with a silver and gold haze on the eastern horizon. The barometer predicts fair weather.
This weeping willow in the wooded lot on 9th and Manypenny still holds its golden-yellow leaves and is very attractive. The willow species (genus Salix) can be difficult to identify, as they hybridize readily in nature and horticulture. The oldest of the weeping willows in cultivation is Salix babylonica. Of Chinese origin it has been planted for hundreds of years. The Niobe weeping willow is a newer hybrid but has also been around a long, long time. Salix x blanda, the Wisconsin weeping willow, is newer and also much used, but my guess is that this huge old tree and several others in the woods are the ‘Niobe’ weeping willow.
All willows must be used with caution in the landscape, as most quickly become huge and spreading and are often dangerously weak wooded. However, they can serve well as background plantings in a big setting, particularly as a backdrop for water features and obviously can be very attractive. It looks like we are back on the gold standard this morning.