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Added: 1st July 2011 Description:
Modest-sized tree but still growing in mixed planted woodland plot. Specimen 3 days old. Leaves rather glossy above, finely downy/wooly below. The small lvs at base of twig with silky hairs below. Small hairs on twig. Leaf margins smooth. Leaves ca. 4-7 cm long. Specimen 15.5 cm.
Confidence: It might be this. Notes: Other types of tree not ruled out. No catkins, seeds or fruits.
Confidence: I'm as sure as I can be. Notes: Definitely Salix, as the buds are enclosed in a single slipper-like scale. The downy hairs on the underside rule out the true willows such as White, Crack, Almond etc. The long-tapered leaf tips indicate Common Osier, Salix viminalis, as one parent. The relatively broad leaves, the leaf texture and pubescence, all indicate a sallow as the other parent (either Common Sallow Salix cinerea, or Goat Willow S. caprea: hybrids with Eared Sallow S. aurita usually have narrower leaves, shorter stalks and more tapered bases). Next time, peel back the bark of a twig: if the wood underneath has raised ridges, there's cinerea in there, if not, it's a caprea hybrid. The other possibility, supported by the leaves being broadest in the upper third and rather glossy above, would be the 3-way hybrid S.caprea x cinerea x viminalis, which is always female and does not set viable seed. It's surprisingly widespread, often as individual isolated trees or bushes.
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