One of the first plants I began planting here in our garden/landscape was the Japanese dappled willow ‘Hakuro Nishiki’ (Salix integra). It’s a beautiful shrub willow with dappled foliage that is said to grow from 10-12 feet tall. I planted it for several reasons. First of all I liked it! The dappled foliage gives three seasons of interest which in many cases beats out flowering shrubs that bloom and are finished with no more discernible interest. It was also cheap and easy to get dappled willow plants since my in-laws had a few. All it took was a few cuttings to get new willows started. I like its form and how it blows around in the spring winds. Plus the dappled willow is fast growing which means in three years the shrub willow will grow from this:
|Japanese Dappled Willow (Salix integra) May 2008|
|Japanese Dappled Willow (Salix integra) April 2011|
Yes that is the same willow! And for reference the swing set is a tad over 8 feet tall. The high winds that came through last week blew the willows all around and eventually they settled to where they are leaning to the right. Add an extra two feet to their height to imagine what their size really is. Hopefully as the season passes and the willows grow the branches will become much more upright. They can stand a hard pruning and that may be necessary at some point.
Hardiness Zones: 4-9