Home A - Z FAQ Art Prints Online Library Discussion Forum Muir Weather Maps About Search
Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

Next: Black CottonwoodContentsPrevious: Willow Family

Trees of Yosemite (1932, 1948) by Mary Curry Tresidder


The Willows

Salix

Yellow Willow Branches. About 1/3 Natural Size
Yellow Willow Branches
About 1/3 Natural Size

For a long time it was a question among botanists whether many of the species of willows were to be regarded as trees or as shrubs, on account of their frequent habit of sending up several trunks from one main root-stock. A few species do not exhibit this characteristic, and have therefore been readily admitted to the company of the trees.

Hall, in his Yosemite Flora, lists two of the local species as trees: the Yellow or Sword-Leaf Willow, Salix lasiandra Benth., and the Black Willow, S. nigra Marsh. (Incidentally, several different species seem to be known as “Black Willow” in different places.) The latter, he says, occurs below but probably not within the Park boundary.

The Yellow or Sword-Leaf Willow is more definitely a tree than the other willows of our area, ranging from twenty to thirty-five feet in height and from twelve to twenty inches in diameter, with a darkish-brown bark, roughly seamed. It has a lance-shaped leaf, often tapering to a slender point; it is from three to seven inches long and from half an inch to an inch and a quarter wide, with the margin entire. In color it is a yellowish-green, shiny above and a paler green underneath. This willow may be distinguished by the tiny, wart-like glands at the upper end of the leaf-stem. The catkins are one and a quarter to two and a half inches in length. It occurs from sea level through the Transition Zone.

The Scouler Willow, S. scouleriana Barr., occurs from the Transition through the Canadian and even into the Hudsonian Zone, and is sometimes shrubby, sometimes arborescent in form. Even as a tree it has a smooth bark, unlike the Yellow Willow. Its leaf is shaped like an inverted egg, wider toward the rounded tip; it is one to two inches long and half an inch to an inch and a quarter wide. In color it is yellow-green, shiny above and somewhat smooth or minutely hairy beneath, with yellow veins. Its catkins in blossom are fluffier and more lovely than those of any of our other willows. Twigs of the last season’s growth are reddish-brown. This willow assumes an independent air; it is rarely found in groups. Unlike most of its kin, it does not seek the banks of streams but grows along the mountainsides above them, at such places as the Emerald Pool or beside small springs, such as the one near the head of Nevada Falls. It is often found among the aspens.



Next: Black CottonwoodContentsPrevious: Willow Family

Home A - Z FAQ Art Prints Online Library Discussion Forum Muir Weather Maps About Search
Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/trees_of_yosemite/willows.html