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Stark® Hybrid Willow

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A unique cross that grows quickly, yet maintains structural integrity. This upright willow grows up to 12' per year until it reaches its mature height of 30-40'. Dense foliage provides shade in summer and multiple branches provide a windbreak in winter. The low-maintenance tree also helps prevent soil erosion. Cold-hardy. Shipped 3 feet and up. (Salix matsudana x Salix alba)


Shade/Sun Full Sun
Soil Composition Loamy
Soil Moisture Average Moistness - Moist
Soil pH Level 6.0 - 7.0
Zone Range 3 - 8

Zone Compatibility

This Variety's Zone Range 3 - 8
My Hardiness Zone ?
The USDA hardiness zones offer a guide to varieties that will grow well in certain climates. Each zone corresponds to the minimum winter temperatures experienced in a given area. Make sure that your hardiness zone lies within the zone compatability range of this variety before ordering.

Tools & Supplies

Having the proper tools and supplies when growing your own can make the difference between a good harvest and a great harvest! Here's a list that our experts recommend for this variety.


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Questions & Answers

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Browse 30 questions Browse 30 questions and 78 answers
Why did you choose this?
Stark Bro's Store
I live by a lake with an eroding shoreline and I’m hoping these trees will thrive and slow down the erosion.
Susan M on May 16, 2019
I have a very long backyard and these 2 trees will look great from a distance when grown.
James G on May 9, 2019
I live by a lake with an eroding shoreline and I’m hoping these trees will thrive and slow down the erosion.
Susan M on May 16, 2019
Mother loves them
Tina G on May 10, 2019
I have a very long backyard and these 2 trees will look great from a distance when grown.
James G on May 9, 2019
I need a privacy screen.
Patricia W on May 5, 2019
Windbreak and privacy from neighbor. Needed plants that can grow in a wet location.
Bruce P on Apr 18, 2019
grown them in the past
stephen c on Apr 23, 2018
Need fast growing trees to put around new lake to stop erosion.
THOMAS P O on Feb 12, 2018
For its fast growth
Melissa C on Mar 24, 2017
Lots of low land and wet spots, privacy
Brett C on Mar 22, 2017
Had two Navajo willows in the past. Only lasted 10 yrs. Hoping for better luck with these as we miss our willows, the birds that enjoyed them and need for privacy from too close of new neighbors directly behind our home. Also I'm 65 and don't want to wait 20 years for a slow growing tree.
Kenneth P on Mar 21, 2017
My daughter wants to make wattle fences. This seemed perfect.
Connie J on Mar 9, 2017
Want windbreaker. Love the color it has in the winter months.
Teresa P. on Feb 8, 2017
We need shade and a winter wind break in our back yard. These trees will provide what we are looking for.
Raylene W on Jan 7, 2017
I ordered 26 trees. They have grown over four feet in 3 months.
VANESSA C on Aug 24, 2016
want shade soon
charles m on Jun 20, 2016
Jeremiah W on Jun 16, 2016
friend recommendation
Adam L on Jun 13, 2016
Love willows and needed a wind break
Junia G on May 17, 2016
I chose this for border.
Toni R on Apr 20, 2016
Loves water and and helps with privacy and it grows fast!
Christina N on Apr 15, 2016
We were in great need of a windbreak, these trees sound like they will be just the ticket
Crystal D on Mar 30, 2016
I had planted them 15 years ago in Salida Co elevation approximately 7500 and they did great!! I want a fast growing tree in my treeless yard now!
Mary K on Mar 24, 2016
the growth per year of 12 feet
Glenna A on Mar 15, 2016
Needed a fast growing barrier planting.
Ozark Jim on Mar 9, 2016
I am looking for a fast way to create a privacy fence in my new home. I also planted Leyland Cypress and green giants.
nadia b on Feb 26, 2016
Mother loves them
Tina G on May 10, 2019
I need a privacy screen.
Patricia W on May 5, 2019
I'm confused on the spacing. It says 30-40' but in the picture they look no more than 8' apart?
Brad D on Apr 11, 2016
BEST ANSWER: The spacing is based on the mature spread of the tree. If allowed, the tree will grow tall and wide as stated. When planting in rows for a windbreak, trees can be planted much closer together, which will restrict the natural spread of those trees.
can I plant Willow Hybrid along a fence line?
John S on Feb 17, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Sure you can! However your neighbors will probably not appreciate it.
Can we keep them pruned to 10-15 feet and have them grow in as a hedge? We want them between us and our neighbors field because they spray gallons and gallons of herbicides on their grass for dandelions and it always blows onto our property and we have to go inside for the day.
Hannah C on Feb 12, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Taking tops off will promote lower growth. so yes.
WE have a swampy area in the field here in NH. We are on a hill though and it gets quite windy. Would the tree hold up to this wind?
Janet Q on May 15, 2016
BEST ANSWER: We have a 60 mph storm come through and the trees held up only losing a few leaves, very impressive. We have some that are 6 to 8 ft tall, that were planted in Jan 2015. We love these trees. We think they should be good in swampy ground as weLloyd. Hope this helps.
How will they do in an established tree line? Just filling in some open areas.
Mark P on Mar 24, 2018
BEST ANSWER: As long as they get sufficient sun, they should do just fine. Very fast growing, mine are all 12-15 tall already.
Do the roots cause problems with driveways or around septic tanks?
Cindy B on Mar 22, 2017
BEST ANSWER: These roots will spread, especially to seek out water sources, so it is recommended that you plant away from any plumbing, underground pipes, and other structures (including paved areas). Use the mature spread of this tree as a guide for how far from other structures to plant.
Did you find it necessary to stake these trees at first?
Marsha on Mar 13, 2017
BEST ANSWER: No, these things went crazy. They probably grew 10 feet in the first 1 1/2 years. They are also getting much larger trunks now. I've done very little with them. I put some fertilizer as the years have past and watered heavily the first year only. Some of them do tend to curve a bit with the dominant wind direction but as they've filled out and grown larger that has diminished. These trees are extremely fast growing and seem very hardy in my clay soil in middle of Illinois.
How close can I plant these to my pond?
Ryan P on Feb 26, 2018
BEST ANSWER: These trees love "wet feet." You can plant them within 15' of the bank.
Should I prune the Hybrid Willow to only have one main trunk ?
Robert H on May 19, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Willows tend to have a sprawling nature. If you want a dense screen or windbreak, I wouldn'nt recommend much pruning. If you want a "lombardy Poplar look" pruning would be ok.
If I use as a wind break, spacing them 6 to 8 feet apart. How close can I plant these trees to my garden because the trees use so much water?
john k on Mar 26, 2017
BEST ANSWER: You are smart to consider this. We would recommend keeping them 30' away from the garden, not only because they have broad root systems, but they can become quite tall and you wouldn't want them to shade your garden, either.
How long do these trees last?
Jennifer M on Feb 25, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Much will depend upon weather, growing/soil conditions, rainfall and so on, but with good care they can live 70 years or more.
deer resistant?
Paul h on Jun 13, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I haven't had any trouble with deer munching on them, but did have several
get rubbed on in the fall. The trees all leaves out this spring but I did put a
basic wire fence around my line of 12 trees for the rest of the fall and winter. Pretty much any young tree is susceptible during rut and these bounced back better than most.
Can I plant these trees near a garden, or will grass and vegetables not grow where the leaves fall?
annie h on Aug 4, 2016
BEST ANSWER: My lawn is immediately adjacent to the area I have planted eight of these trees for screening
as my property is adjacent to a neighboring farmer's equipment storage area. My lawn has not been impacted by the leaves as they fall. I either mulch them in place or bag them if the maples in my side yard are also losing their leaves at the same time.
Would this be okay to plant near an underground propane tank?
Crystal on May 17, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I would hesitate because if the tree was to blow over it might rip out the buried propane line causing an explosive hazard
Can it be used a a privacy fence?
Mo H on May 14, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Bought 5 and they have grown 6-7 feet tall in 1 year and are getting significantly more full. They could become a privacy fence as they mature — probably by year 2 or. 3. That was my intent.
I have wetlands property with natural native willows on it already that floods out once a year, will these willows also survive flooded water on them like the wild native willows?
David D on Dec 19, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Our yard would flood where we planted the hybrids and they did wonderful with the water. Every time we would get a good rain, the grass would have standing water for a day.
Is this tree compatible with wetlands?
Ted@NewEngland on Jun 30, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I am not positive but I do have one of them planted where there is a lot of run off and it is wet good amount of the time and it seems to be growing fine.
Leaves stay on all year?
Paul h on Jun 13, 2016
BEST ANSWER: No, they are deciduous .
I'm looking for a tree that will fight soil erosion & provide a break between our home & the gravel road in front of our home. Is this the best choice? We live in Troy, MO.
Cindy B on Apr 22, 2016
BEST ANSWER: They seem to do well here. Even if the area is low and somewhat wet. It's a fast grower too.
Are the roots of this tree invasive? Will I have to worry planting near underground pipes?
Jessica C on May 10, 2019
BEST ANSWER: A good rule of thumb is to always plant a tree the same distance away from a house as its mature height. This tree grows to be 30-40' tall, so it should be planted a minimum of 30' away from a foundation, septic system, patio, driveway or anything else that might be disturbed by its roots.
Can these trees be used as a privacy screen?
Larry J on Apr 4, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Absolutely! That's why most people buy them. They grow quickly and are quite beautiful.
We have a shaded area between us and the neighbor's that we'd like to fill for privacy. Will the hybrid willow grow in shade?
Robin M on Apr 6, 2017
BEST ANSWER: This would not be a good choice for a shaded area; hybrid willows need full sun or they will be spindly and prone to wind damage. Japanese maples will do all right in part shade, as will most evergreens.
What do they look like in winter?
Samantha on Mar 24, 2017
BEST ANSWER: These trees are deciduous and lose their leaves in winter, so they look like dormant, leafless trees (trunks and branches) that still provide a windbreak.
Can I trim the branches up about 7 feet off the ground as the trees grow? Also, would the trees get taller faster by doing this?
Michael O on Mar 20, 2017
BEST ANSWER: This tree grows extremely fast ,I did some lower branch trimming after the second full year.These trees have a lowspread if you trim at 7' you would probably have to wait till well established guessing about 5 years. I don't think this would effect it to grow any faster.
Is this suitable for a small city lot?
alysia k on Apr 24, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Willow trees love water and their roots will seek water out. It's best to plant away from any potential plumbing, septic tanks, or other water facilities – so a city lot may not be the best place if water pipes exist nearby. Best to check locally to see if there are any potential underground (or overhead) issues in the area.
Hello, I was wondering how difficult it is to keep these trees trimmed to about 9/10 feet. Are they soft (in other words can a girl trim them?) I am looking to create an allee' in a Parterre Garden. Thank you!
PorshesPlace on Apr 18, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I'm afraid it would be a lot of work to try to keep this fast-growing tree essentially a third of its natural height, plus I'm not sure the structure of the hybrid willow would make an ideal allée. I'd suggest searching for trees that are ideal for allées, like hornbeam or linden, or contacting your local experts (landscape professionals) to see what works well in your area.
does the hybrid willow drink as much water as a weeping willow? i want to help dry up an area of pastures.
heidi on Mar 13, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes, they are water-loving willow trees like their weeping willow relatives.
What species of willow have been blended to create this hybrid willow tree?
Jillian J on Mar 1, 2016
BEST ANSWER: There are numerous hybrid willow crosses in existence. This one happens to be Salix matsudana x Salix alba.
Is this an evergreen tree?
Annie H on Feb 25, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Willow trees, like the Stark® Hybrid Willow, are deciduous – meaning they will lose their leaves when they are dormant. Fortunately, these trees do not rely on a leafy canopy to work as living windbreaks in the landscape. Read more about the benefits of shade trees in your landscape in our article about the Hybrid Willow:

Customer Reviews

4.6 / 5.0
22 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Fastest growing tree...ever!
I've been buying Hybrid Willows from Miller's for several years. These trees grow in any soil and if you need shade - this is the tree of choice. Tropical looking leaves with a shiny finish. These trees are bullet proof and like I said, any moron can grow a Hybrid Willow. Order and plant early as possible.
February 17, 2016
Need lots of water
Planted three in a marshy area last year and two toward the fringes of the marsh died, while the one that practically stands in water is doing great. That one must've grown two feet this year alone. The deer are chewing on its lower branches, but now they can't reach the top, so I have hope. Have planted more in the wetter parts of the marshy area. Fingers crossed....
May 18, 2016
over 4 years ago
Grows fast
This tree grows fast as they say, from a 4 foot stick to a 15 foot tree in a year
May 24, 2016
over 4 years ago
A great investment for our property
We so glad we were introduced to this tree! We have 15 and are buying 4 more. We have a lot of water in our back yard along the fence line and needed to find something that not only loved water but could give us some privacy as well. They are beautiful! They grow so fast! We are so pleased!
April 15, 2016
Stark Hybrid Willow in Central Texas
I purchased three of these hybrid willows a year or two ago and they aren't doing very well here in central Texas (zone 8). One tree died and the remaining two are less than 2 feet tall. I assume the (Caliche type) white clay we have here is the reason for the poor grown.

I have purchased numerous fruit trees from Stark Brothers over the last 4 years, and the Hybrid Willows are the only ones that didn't work out.
May 13, 2016
over 4 years ago
My wife and I love our Stark Hybrid Willows!
We ordered the Stark Hybrid Willows to provide shade in our backyard and around our deck area. The trees arrived healthy and ready for planting. The promise of fast growth did not disappoint! We definitely would recommend these trees and plan on purchasing additional ones for the front yard!
May 8, 2016
over 5 years ago
Great fast growing screen!
I planted four of the hybrid willows 10 feet apart as a privacy screen. Even in my rocky ridgetop soil they are growing extremely well. I definitely recomend them.
May 9, 2017
over 3 years ago
This is my first experience with hybrid willows. I purchased one last year and planted it. I pruned it during the winter and it leafed out fully this spring. I planted hybrid poplars several years ago at my cabin on the lake. I have had fairly good luck with them although I have had to replace two. I have neighbors who have planted hybrid willows and they have had very good luck. they seem to be a little more hardy and they grow faster. I am planning on planting more and I would recommend them.
May 2, 2017
over 3 years ago
incredible growth
I bought 4 trees - the 2 that I planted at my home are doing great and have grown tremendously in one year!!!!
June 28, 2017
over 3 years ago
Growing good
These trees arrive as sticks, but they are growing great!
July 10, 2016
over 3 years ago