Audubon® Black Willlow
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Black Willow brings in the birds! If your property is home to a pond, creek, marsh, or even just a low spot that never dries out, consider planting a Black Willow to give neighborhood birds some sustenance. This fast-growing, moisture-loving tree is a bird food factory, hosting an incredible array of caterpillars and other avian favorites, such as beetles, aphids, and leafhoppers. These morsels supply valuable protein to songbirds and their rapidly growing nestlings. Attracted to the steady source of high-quality food, some birds may even nest in the branches and raise their families there!
May Benefit & Attract: chickadees & titmice, sparrows, wood warblers, thrushes, wrens, woodpeckers, mockingbirds & thrashers, crows & jays, waxwings, vireos, cardinals & grosbeaks, nuthatches, orioles
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Size AA (2-3' tall) container grown
- Hardiness Zone: 3-8
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A pioneer tree, Black Willow frequently appears on wet, sunny sites whenever bare soil is exposed. It quickly takes root, stabilizing riverbanks and providing wonderful wildlife habitat. This tree has held a variety of roles in human history. The lightweight wood does not make great lumber for building, but it has been used in manufacturing crates, wicker baskets, and artificial limbs. It has also been used to make charcoal for both gunpowder and artists’ pencils. Black Willow grows naturally all over the eastern United States and in scattered spots in the Southwest.
Black Willow is a magnificent butterfly tree! If they escape the birds, some of the caterpillars that feed on its foliage will become beautiful butterflies. Your tree may be a host to viceroys, red spotted purples, Lorquin’s admirals, mourning cloaks, and green commas. Some really stunning moths may make it to adulthood on your tree, too, such as the cecropia, the twin-spotted sphinx, and the big poplar sphinx.
How to Grow
Full sun and damp soil are the major requirements for Black Willow. This tree should be planted well away from manicured areas, as it has a tendency to drop limbs in high winds and ice storms. The root system is vigorous, so keep it away from any underground plumbing as well. Black Willow is a fast-growing but often short-lived tree (it has a lifespan of about 50 years). In that time, however, it can become quite large. The national record holder, in Minnesota, is 91 feet tall and has a trunk that’s over eight feet thick! Give it plenty of room.
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