Grey Willow

Also known as:
Pussy Willow, Shrub Willow, Grey Sallow
Family:
Salicaceae
Origin:
Eurasia

General description

Deciduous shrub or small tree < 7 m tall. Stems are grey/green and hairy or red/dark purple and smooth. Leaves are obovate and < 7 x 3.5 cm. Catkins are cylindrical and appear before leaves.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell grey willow. As grey willow is a National Pest Plant Accord species, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.
  • You must not plant grey willow within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any grey willow on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.
Auckland Council will control grey willow at all sites within the Aotea/Great Barrier Island group where it is known to occur.

If you see grey willow anywhere on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group, please report it to Auckland Council at pestfree@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

Wet habitats, wetlands, riparian margins, ponds, lakesides, wet areas behind coastal dunes.

Seeds dispersed by wind. Vegetative spread from suckering and stem fragments, dispersed by water.

Forms dense thickets, causing blockages, flooding and structural changes in waterways. Affects native vegetation through competition, shading and altered hydrology.

Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Do not attempt to undertake control of this species on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group. Please report to Auckland Council if seen on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group.

Physical control

Method: Dig out

Plant parts requiring disposal: All parts

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical

Biocontrol

Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications
Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with glyphosate gel. Cut material must be removed or it will regrow.
or
Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 250ml glyphosate green per 1L of water. Cut material must be removed or it will regrow.

Basic Growsafe certified
Drill and inject trees with 500ml glyphosate per 1L of water if safe to do so. Drill 18mm holes (tangentially angled downwards) in a spiral up the trunk. For 50mm stems drill one hole. For 100mm stems drill two holes. For larger stems drill holes 150mm apart.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user
Foliar spray with 150ml glyphosate green per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant

Safety notes

Large trees must not be drilled that are closer than 1.5 times the height of the tree from paths, walkways and property.

Trees over 4 metres in height should be treated and then removed by a qualified arborist.

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

crack willow
Salix fragilis

Crack willow is a much taller tree and has longer and thinner leaves, paler below, shining on top, with the older leaves hairless. Crack willow buds are yellow, pale green or brown whereas the grey willow has dark red-brown buds.

Search tags

RPMP status


Aotea (Eradication)
National Pest Plant Accord Species
Whole region (Sustained Control)
Grey willow - Main species image