Image for Black Willow

Black Willow

Scientific name

Salix nigra


Black Willow is the largest native Willow species within North America. This species is considered to be a small to medium sized tree, typically growing 10-20 m in height, with a broad, spreading, and irregular crown. The trunk is large, crooked, often forked or sprouting, and covered in a dark black or brown scaly bark. The leaves are narrow, lance shaped, alternately arranged, and have finely toothed margins. Small green or yellow flowers bloom on catkins during the spring. By mid-summer, flowers turn into a cottony fruit. The Black Willow is a fast growing tree, reaching maturity within 30 years. It has a significant, shallow, spreading root system, which makes it an excellent tree to plant for erosion control and to stabilizing loose soil along shorelines. However, as with most Willows, do not plant near septic system, sewers, or wells because the roots can cause damage.

Planting conditions

Black Willow grows best in moist to wet conditions with full or partial sun exposure. It grows easily in a range of soil types as long as there is significant moisture. It is highly tolerant to flooding but intolerant of dry soil. It is intolerant to full shade. This tree can be naturally found around wetlands and along river or lake shorelines.


  • Plant height:
    • Any
    • Over 3m
  • Moisture level:
    • Moist
    • Wet
    • Flood Tolerant
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
    • Clay
    • Rocky
  • pH:
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
    • Bareroot
  • Eco Zone:
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
    • 6b
    • 7a
    • 7b
  • Plant type:
    • Tree
  • Height:
    • 20 m
  • Spread:
    • 3 m