Globe willows (Salix matsudana ‘Navajo’) are fast growing trees with globe-shaped canopies. They are native to eastern Asia and are also called Hankow willows. Globe willows are excellent shade trees for lawns and parks, as well as near streams and lakes. They are some of the first trees to leaf out in early spring.
Globe willows grow 20-70 feet tall, and 35-70 feet wide. The bright green slender leaves of spring mature to dark green in the summer and turn yellow in the fall. The flowers and fruit are inconspicuous.
Globe willows grow in Zones 4 to 9 in moist areas in the sun or partial shade. They need ample water and should be watered every 1 ½ to 2 ½ weeks. Globe willows may suffer cold damage in extreme temperatures. Prune damaged, diseased or dead limbs and branches in the summer or fall.
Diseases and Pests
Only globe willows are affected by frothy flux. There is no cure and infected trees should be removed and destroyed to prevent the spread of the disease. Globe willows are also susceptible to bacterial wetwood disease and Cytospora cankers. Numerous pests attack globe Willows, including aphids, beetles, borers, caterpillars and spider mites.
Globe willows have extensive, aggressive root systems. Plan them at least 200 feet away from sewer and water lines, septic tanks and drain fields. The trees also have weak wood and falling branches can cause a hazard.
Salix matsudana was named for the Japanese botanist, Sadahisa Matsudo, who wrote one of the first guides to the plants of China.