Salix babylonica L.
Sp.Pl. 2:1017 (1753)

Conservation Code: Not threatened
Naturalised Status: Alien to Western Australia
Name Status: Current

Brief Description
Amanda Spooner, Monday 9 December 2002

Weeping tree, to 10 m high. Fl. Nov. Black peaty sand over clay. Creeklines.

Distribution

Beard’s Provinces: South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Jarrah Forest, Swan Coastal Plain.

IBRA Subregions: Perth, Southern Jarrah Forest.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Albany, Bayswater, Harvey, Swan.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Monday 18 July 2016

Alternative Names. Weeping Willow.

General Biology. Growth form. Tree. Reproduction. Seed, vegetative. Dispersal. Water (stem fragments), wind (seed). Time to first flowering. 4+ years. Vegetative regeneration strategy. Resprouts, produces root suckers, stem layering. Woody structure. Diffuse porous. Seedbank persistence. Short, days-1 year. Fire response. Green foliage and timber will burn in a hot fire. Established trees may be killed, younger trees may resprout.

Notes. Distinguished by its long slender weeping twigs. Earliest flowering tree willow. Serious creekline weed in eastern Australia. Frequently seen in gardens. Biological control of six willow species is under consideration in Australia. The species is not currently listed as a WONS, however it is still of concern for its potential to hybridise and spread in natural areas. In tree willows (subgenus Salix) the catkins emerge with the leaves, unlike shrub willows (subgenus Vetrix) where the catkins emerge well before the leaves. Readily grows from broken branches. Increases likelihood of bank erosion and large scale soil movement over time. Consumes large amounts of water. Massive leaf drop in autumn significantly affects water quality. Can form hybrids with S. alba and S. fragilis. Only female plants have been recorded in Western Australia.

Additional information. Origin. China. History of use/introduction. Garden escape, riverbank stabilisation. Similar exotic species. Salix matsudana, S. sepulcralis.

Suggested method of management and control. Hand pull seedlings. Cut and paint or stem inject using 50% glyphosate throughout the year, however results may be variable in spring. Check restrictions on chemical use near waterways. Follow-up monitoring and control of regrowth from stumps, pieces of stems or seeds may be required for 3-5 years after initial control. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar TypeJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecComments
Active Growth             
GerminationYY       YYY 
Flowering       YYY   
Fruiting         YY  
Dormant             
Optimum TreatmentYYYYYYYOOOOY 

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.

 

References

  • Adair, R., Sagliocco, J. & Bruzzese, E. (2006) Strategies for the biological control of invasive willows (Salix spp.) in Australia. Australian Journal of Entomology, 45 (4): 259-267.
  • Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (2001) Weeds of national significance. Willow (Salix taxa, excluding S. babylonica, S. x calodendron and S. x reichardtii) strategic plan. National Weeds Strategy Executive Committee, Launceston.
  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • CRC Weed Management (2003) Weed management guide. Willow - Salix spp. CRC for Australian Weed Management.
  • Cremer, K. (1999) Willow Management for Australian Rivers. Natural Resource Management, The Australian Association of Natural Resource Management URL: http://www.hoadley.net/cremer/willows/docs/WMFAR.pdf.
  • Department of Primary Industries, Victoria (2008) Willow identification. Willow Resource Sheet 2. State Government of Victoria.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Muyt, A. (2001) Bush invaders of South-East Australia: A guide to the identification and control of environmental weeds found in South-East Australia. R.G. & F.J. Richardson, Melbourne.
  • Navie, S. & Adkins, S. (2008) Environmental Weeds of Australia, An interactive identification and information resource for over 1000 invasive plants. Centre for Biological Information Technology, The University of Queensland.
  • Pope, L., Rutherford, I., Price, P. & Lovett, S. (2006) Controlling willows along Australian rivers. Land & Water Australia, Canberra. River Management Technical Guidleine no. 6.
  • Ray, J. (1994) Willow control for the future. In Wild willows in New Zealand. Proceedings of the willow control workshop (ed. C.J. West). Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand.

Project information and acknowledgements