Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University


Black Willow
Salix nigra 
 Salicaceae

Leaves are simple, alternate, deciduous, lanceolate, about 6 inches long with finely toothed margins and red glands on margin teeth. Twigs are yellow-brown to red-brown, thin and smooth. Bark is dark brown and ridged with prominent loose plates. Fruit is a capsule borne on female trees. Form is usually only up to 15 m (50 ft) in height but larger on good sites. Black willow is found next to streams and in wet areas in the east and central U.S. and is intolerant of shade.  The soft wood is used for pulpwood, boxes, baskets and wicker furniture.  In the past, the bark and leaves were used to make aspirin.  The bark is eaten by beaver and rabbits.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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