Willow Family (Salicaceae). Peachleaf willow (Salix amygdaloides) is a small to medium sized tree with one to several trunks up to 12 m tall (40 feet) (McGregor et al. 1986, Stephens 1973). The twigs are gray to light yellow, shiny, and flexible. The leaves look like peach leaves; they are yellowish green above, pale to white-glaucous beneath, glabrous, lance-shaped, 3-8 cm (1.2-3") long and finely serrate. The petioles are glandless. Catkins emerge with the leaves; pistillate (female) catkins are 3-8 cm long, on leaf branchlets 1-4 cm long. Bracts are deciduous, pale yellow, and villous on the inside. The fruits are ovoid capsules 3-5 mm long, glabrous, uncrowded on the axis giving the catkin a loose, open appearance. When ripe, the capsules open to release tiny wind-born seeds with silky hairs at their base. Peachleaf willow flowers in May and fruits in June.
Wright willow, almond willow, willow
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Regularity: Regularly occurring
|Map courtesy of USDA, NRCS. 2012. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC. (2012, June 21).|
Peachleaf willow is native to North America. It is the most common tree willow in the eastern Great Plains , but it is peripheral in the Southeast, occurring mostly in the Mississippi valley . In the Southwest, it is common along the Rio Grande  and rare to infrequent in other riparian zones . Its distribution extends south into Chihuahua . It rare in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia and has been extirpated from Kentucky .
Peachleaf willow grows in riparian areas such as the banks of streams and ponds, low woods, roadside gullies, and prairie sloughs. It ranges from Quebec, west across southern Canada to British Columbia, south to Oregon, Utah, and Arizona, east to Texas, and northeast to Kentucky and Vermont. For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.
Peachleaf willow is a deciduous small tree or shrub ≤40 feet (12 m) tall . It grows as a small tree in most of its range [16,31,39,63,67,147], although the shrub form is more common in Montana . It is the tallest native willow in the prairie states  and provinces . As a tree, its form is spreading  and often leaning [36,125] to decumbent . As a shrub, peachleaf willow often forms thickets [94,146]. Trunks may be one to several  and reach 1.3 feet (0.4 m) across [36,80]. The wood is soft and weak . Branches are flexible throughout most of their length but may be brittle at the base . Leaves are lance-shaped; typically, they range from 0.8 to 2 inches (2-6 cm) long [36,147], but they may be 4 to 6 inches (11-16 cm) on young shoots [38,47,147]. The male and female flowers are catkins [16,33,36,74]. Female catkins are 2 to 3 inches (5-8 cm) long, arising from leafy twigs . The fruit is a capsule [16,33,39,80] containing many small seeds with cottony hairs . The seeds are lightweight; near Boulder, Colorado, peachleaf willow seeds averaged 4.0 × 10-5 g each .
Peachleaf willow has a multibranched, spreading root system [89,124]. Comparing the root systems of woody riparian species in eastern Nebraska, researchers reported that peachleaf willow "probably exceeds all other species in rate of root penetration". Depth to water table probably determines root depths. In silt loams in Lancaster County, roots of a 4-year-old peachleaf willow spread 14 feet (4.3 m) deep and 12 feet (3.7 m) wide; the water table was at 16 feet (4.9 m). On another site with sandy loam, a 48-foot (15 m) peachleaf willow had roots only 2.5 feet (0.8 m) deep but 44 feet (13 m) wide; the water table was 2.5 feet below ground .
A fact sheet describes peachleaf willow as short-lived .
Catalog Number: US 505863
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): P. B. Kennedy
Year Collected: 1908
Locality: Carsen Sink region., Churchill, Nevada, United States, North America
Elevation (m): 1265 to 1265
- Isotype: Schneider, C. K. 1919. J. Arnold Arbor. 1: 11.
Catalog Number: US 38597
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): C. Wright
Year Collected: 1851
Locality: New Mexico, United States, North America
- Isotype: Andersson, N. J. 1867. Kongl. Svenska Vetenskapsakad. Handl. 6: 22.
Site Characteristics and Plant Communities
Moisture regime: Peachleaf willow is restricted to moist sites . Modeling indicated peachleaf willow importance value was highest on sites averaging around 19.7 inches (500 mm) of annual precipitation and 41 °F (5 °C), with a tolerance range of 9.8 to 48.2 inches (250-1,225 mm) of precipitation and 36 to 55 °F (2-13 °C). A high water table was the most important predictor of peachleaf willow presence, followed by spodosol or histosol soils. Elevation was among the least important factors . Peachleaf willow grows on moist to mesic floodplains, lakeshores, near streams and rivers, and in marshes, swamps, sloughs, seeps, and moist gullies across its range [7,25,33,36,39,51,63,83,103,147]. It tolerates poor drainage and prolonged flooding . On the Lower Platte River of eastern Nebraska, vegetation surveyors found peachleaf willow only in moist, bottomland plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides subsp. monilifera) forests. They did not find it in drier communities including transitional, riparian-upland bur oak-American basswood (Quercus macrocarpa-Tilia americana) and upland mixed-oak (Quercus spp.) forests . On the banks of the Canadian River in the Texas panhandle, peachleaf willow was noted only in bottomlands with plains cottonwood . During the Dust Bowl drought in the late 1930s, 75% to 100% mortality was noted for peachleaf willow and other woody riparian species in south-central South Dakota. Most trees near streams with permanent water tables survived, however .
Soils: Peachleaf willow grows in sands, silts, and gravels [7,33,59] that are typically low in organic matter . Hansen and others  noted that in eastern Montana, peachleaf willow grew in soils of all textures except heavy clays. Silts and sands were most common. Peachleaf willow tolerated weakly saline soils . However, the US Natural Resources Conservation Service  lists peachleaf willow as saline intolerant. It has a pH tolerance from 6.0 to 8.0 ; in Montana, it tolerates mildly alkaline soils .
Peachleaf willow is especially common on new pointbars (alluvium on the inside of river curves) of sand or gravel . On the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, North Dakota, peachleaf willow occurred on young surfaces formed by river action: pointbars, islands, shore deposits, and abandoned channels. These features were prominent on the confluence of the Knife and Missouri rivers. In plains cottonwood/peachleaf willow communities near the confluence, tree density averaged 335 trees/ha, with 74% plains cottonwoods, 24% peachleaf willow, and 2% Russian-olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) . Peachleaf willow was noted on sandbars and islands on the Platte River of south-central Nebraska . It is also found in deep, very poorly drained peats and mucks in the Great Plains. These sites are permanently flooded and usually dominated by common buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) . In Wisconsin's Point Beach State Forest, peachleaf willow grows on foredunes, interdunes, strands, sand ridges, and sand blowouts on the shores of Lake Michigan .
Parent materials of soils with peachleaf willow are varied. In Wyoming, peachleaf willow grows in soils derived from shale, sandstone, marlstone, and granite .
Elevation: Elevation is apparently less limiting than moisture for peachleaf willow . It is noted in "wet low places" in the Northeast  and in moist subalpine  and alpine  sites in the Southwest. In the East, elevational ranges of peachleaf willow were not described in the literature (as of 2012). In the West, peachleaf willow occurs from low to high elevations:
|Elevational ranges for peachleaf willow in the western United States|
|New Mexico||4,500-7,400 |
|Northern Rocky Mountains||1,500-7,700 |
Plant communities: Peachleaf willow is restricted to riparian, wetland, and woody draw communities throughout its range. Most commonly, it is associated with cottonwoods (Populus spp.) and other willows (Salix spp.). See the Fire Regime Table for a list of plant communities in which peachleaf willow may occur and information on the FIRE REGIMES associated with those communities. Detailed descriptions of plant communities where peachleaf willow is important or dominant are provided below by region.
Great Lakes: In south-central and southeastern Canada and the Great Lakes states, peachleaf willow occurs in hardwood, conifer, and mixed riparian ecosystems, including elm-ash-cottonwood (Ulmus-Fraxinus-Populus spp.) , white pine-jack pine (Pinus strobus-P. banksiana), quaking aspen-paper birch (Populus tremuloides-Betula papyrifera), mixed pine-aspen (Pinus-Populus spp.) , and mixed-hardwood  forests. It also occurs in willow (Salix spp.) shrublands and occasionally in wet meadows. Generally, peachleaf willow occurs in plant communities adjacent to watercourses that are in early successional stages. In southern Manitoba, peachleaf willow codominates with green ash (F. pennsylvanica), shining willow (S. lucida), and sandbar willow (S. interior) in the flood zone of Lake Manitoba. Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris), reed grass (Phragmites communis), and bluejoint reedgrass (Calamagrostis canadensis) occur in the ground layer. It also grows in terrace communities with plains cottonwood, boxelder (Acer negundo), and black willow (S. nigra) . By the Montreal River in Quebec, peachleaf willow codominates on shorelines of sandy alluvium with black willow, meadow willow (S. petiolaris), Missouri River willow (S. rigida), and/or common buttonbush. Reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea), bluejoint reedgrass, and/or nonnative purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) dominate the herbaceous layer. Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) dominates on shorelines of sandy loam . Peachleaf willow was a minor species in red maple-American elm-black cottonwood (Acer rubrum-U. americana-Populus balsamifera subsp. trichocarpa) wet forests of Wisconsin , and it was relatively uncommon (3.9% frequency) in shrub mires of southeastern Wisconsin. The mires were poorly drained; meadow willow was most frequently dominant . In northern Michigan, peachleaf willow occurred on a newly exposed lake bottom with Bebb willow (S. bebbiana), sandbar willow (S. longifolia), shining willow, red-osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera), and roundleaf dogwood (C. rugosa). Broad-leaved cattail (Typha latifolia), bulblet-bearing water-hemlock (Cicuta bulbifera), and other hydrophytic herbs were also present. The upland community was a white pine-jack pine-quaking aspen forest . In southeastern Wisconsin, peachleaf willow occurs in and on the edges of tussock sedge (Carex stricta) wet meadows .
Northern and Central Rocky Mountains: In riparian areas of the Rocky Mountains, peachleaf willow often dominates shrublands on sand- and gravelbars, and it is common to dominant in the understories of plains cottonwood and green ash forests . Bulrushes (Scirpus spp., sensu latu), broad-leaved cattail, and giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea) are typical groundlayer species . In Wyoming, peachleaf willow is a minor to codominant species in moist shrublands dominated by Woods' rose (Rosa woodsii) or prickly rose (R. acicularis subsp. sayi) . Peachleaf willow community types occur along the Missouri , Yellowstone , Milk, and other rivers of Montana. Herbs, including fowl bluegrass (Poa palustris), reed canarygrass, and wild licorice (Glycyrrhiza lepidota), dominate the ground layer. These peachleaf willow shrublands are uncommon in Montana . Along the Milk River of northwestern Montana, plains cottonwood/sandbar willow- peachleaf willow gallery forests occurred in discontinuous strips on moist pointbars and other sites of channel deposition; the willows also grew on channel levees. Silver sagebrush (Artemisia cana), western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii), and needle-and-thread grass (Hesperostipa comata) occupied dry stretches on upper terraces of the riverbank . A mixed peachleaf willow-narrowleaf willow-Pacific willow (S. exigua-S. lasiandra) riparian association is noted in Idaho . Surveys of BLM riparian sites in Idaho revealed that peachleaf willow habitat types were incidental in south-central and eastern portions of the state, occurring at low elevations (4,100-4,900 feet (1,242-1,484 m)) along oxbows, islands, floodplains, and lake or pond margins. Stands were often closed, with a sparse herbaceous layer. However, peachleaf willow was common in several cottonwood habitat types, including black cottonwood/red-osier dogwood and narrowleaf cottonwood (P. angustifolia)-black cottonwood/red-osier dogwood . Peachleaf willow-Pacific willow and peachleaf willow-Russian-olive communities occur along the Snake River . Along a 52-mile (83 km) stretch of the Snake River near the Idaho-Oregon border, peachleaf willow codominated riparian woodlands with sandbar willow, nonnative Russian-olive, and/or nonnnative saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima). Two-thirds of tree basal area and density in these riparian communities was composed of the 2 nonnative species .
In the Roosevelt National Forest of western Colorado, peachleaf willow codominated a mixed-willow community with planeleaf willow (S. planifolia), Geyer willow (S. geyeriana), and narrowleaf willow. Sedges (Carex spp.), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), and tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa) dominated the ground layer. Soils were sandy loams or clay loams above a shallow water table. They were saturated during most of the growing season, and the water table was <9.8 feet (3.0 m) below ground in summer . Surveys done in the early 1980s on floodplains of the South Platte and Arkansas rivers found plains cottonwood, peachleaf willow, saltcedar (T. chinensis), and sandbar willow usually dominated the overstory. Peachleaf willow was most frequent in plains cottonwood communities .
Peachleaf willow may occur in the shrub layer of mesic conifer forests. It is common in the understories of Engelmann spruce-Rocky mountain lodgepole pine-subalpine fir (Picea engelmannii-Pinus contorta var. latifolia-Abies lasiocarpa) forests of Wyoming; these forests occur from 6,500 to 9,000 feet (2,000-3,000 m) elevation .
Great Plains: The cottonwood-willow (Populus-Salix spp.) cover type dominates many floodplains and other riparian areas across the Great Plains; peachleaf willow and/or black willow typically codominate the canopy layer with various cottonwoods [106,113]. Even when it is not dominant, peachleaf willow is considered characteristic of cottonwood-willow vegetation types of the Great Plains . Plains cottonwood-willow galleries occur in a narrow zone adjacent to rivers and streams. Upland vegetation is typically a mix of short and tall grasses, with sharp boundaries between the galleries and grasslands .
Throughout the Great Plains and Great Basin, peachleaf willow is an occasional, scattered tree in common three-square bulrush (Schoenoplectus pungens) wet meadows. Cosmopolitan bulrush (S. maritimus) and Baltic rush (Juncus balticus) are also common in this association; eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides) or Fremont cottonwood (P. fremontii) may also occur as scattered individuals .
Northern Great Plains: A peachleaf willow tall-shrub community type is described for southeastern Alberta  and southern Saskatchewan . It occurs in narrow bands within the plains grasslands in meander and overflow channels, on pond and lake margins, and in backwaters and woody draws. Western wheatgrass and fowl bluegrass dominate the herb layer; yellow willow (S. lutea) and red-osier dogwood may codominate the overstory [134,135]. On the Minnesota River of North Dakota, peachleaf willow formed distinct thickets along parts of the riverbank. Sandbar willow also formed thickets along the riverbank. Just upland, the mature floodplain forest was dominated by silver maple (Acer saccharinum), American elm, green ash, and boxelder . Hansen and others  reported a minor peachleaf willow community type along streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds of eastern Montana. Peachleaf willow usually assumed a multistemmed shrub form, with stands averaging 50 to 75 years old . In the Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota, peachleaf willow grows in bur oak/western snowberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis) associations from 3,500 to 4,200 feet (1,100-1,300 m) elevation; these associations occur in glaciated areas along intermittent streams .
A study that compiled data from sites across the Northern Great Plains reported that old-growth plains cottonwood-green ash-peachleaf willow gallery forests supported 77 to 482 trees/acre .
Peachleaf willow is a component of some prairie pothole communities in the Northern Great Plains. Along with other woody plants including eastern cottonwood, sandbar willow, and Russian-olive, it spread into potholes in the first half of the 20th century. This invasion may be due to fire exclusion .
Central and Southern Great Plains: Peachleaf willow is prominent in woody draws and galleries of this region. It may be the only tall woody species on the plains grasslands of eastern Colorado , although it often cooccurs with cottonwoods in riparian zones. In gallery forests, peachleaf willow often codominates with plains cottonwood. Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans), and/or sideoats grama (B. curtipendula) dominate the ground layer . Kuchler  reported peachleaf willow as dominant in floodplain forests and savannas of Kansas, with plains cottonwood codominant in western Kansas and eastern cottonwood (P. deltoides subsp. deltoides) and American elm codominant in eastern Kansas. On floodplains of the Republican River, plains cottonwood-peachleaf willow-black willow communities establish on alluvial strands, while bluestem-grama (Andropogon-Bouteloua spp.) plains grasslands occur upland . On the Arkansas River and other major rivers and streams, eastern cottonwood-peachleaf willow/narrowleaf willow alliances occur on nearly-level floodplains of recent alluvium . In the mid-1850s, land surveyors in Republic County, Kansas, found peachleaf willow occurred in diverse, mixed-deciduous communities with plains cottonwood, eastern cottonwood, common hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), black walnut (Juglans nigra), and bur oak. These communities were found along streams within black grama (B. gracilis)-sideoats grama plains grasslands . In the Nebraska sandhills, peachleaf willow cooccurs with eastern cottonwood in wet areas .
On the Arikaree and South Fork Republican rivers of eastern Colorado, a plains cottonwood overstory established after the record flood of 1935. By of the turn of the 21st century, no further plains cottonwood establishment was recorded. In the subcanopy, however, there were single-stemmed peachleaf willow trees dating back to the 1935 flood, plus multistemmed peachleaf willow shrubs that had sprouted from the bases of older stems. Shrub forms tended to grow near active channels and/or were associated with heavy mule deer browsing. Russian-olive codominated the subcanopy. All Russian-olives had established since the 1950s, when flood control measures (such as damming) were initiated .
An 1885 survey near El Paso, Texas, found that timbered stands along the Rio Grande were primarily confined to river bottoms. Plains cottonwood, peachleaf willow, and black willow codominated these stands .Southwest: Peachleaf willow occurs in riparian zones and washes in the Southwest and Mexico . Peachleaf willow was important in the canopy layer of thinleaf alder (Alnus incana subsp. tenuifolia)-mixed deciduous riparian communities of Arizona and New Mexico. Fremont cottonwood and boxelder were often codominant . In Canyon de Chelley National Monument, Arizona, Rio Grande cottonwood (P. deltoides subsp. wislizeni)/peachleaf willow-Russian-olive communities occurred on canyon bottoms below 6,000 feet (2,000 m). Groundlayer vegetation was a mix of herbs including native sedges (Carex spp.) and witchgrass (Panicum capillare) and nonnative grasses including Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue (Schedonorus arundinaceus). Russian-olive was planted in 1964 and was spreading upslope by 1976, but Gambel oak (Q. gambelii) and boxelder still dominated the upland communities . In New Mexico, peachleaf willow codominates with Goodding willow, Fremont cottonwood , and/or Rio Grande cottonwood . It dominates a minor willow vegetation type . By the Rio Grande in central New Mexico, peachleaf willow and Goodding willow codominate the subcanopy of Rio Grande cottonwood galleries. Narrowleaf willow, saltcedar (T. chinensis), Russian-olive, and stretchberry (Forestiera pubescens) occur in the shrub layer . A Rio Grande cottonwood-peachleaf willow community type also occurs along the Pecos River . Peachleaf willow dominates some alpine riparian zones of New Mexico; Bebb willow and bluestem willow (Salix irrorata) are common codominants. These riparian communities usually run through alpine meadows .
Select collection sites as close to the area as possible to conserve genetic diversity. Try to match donor site and revegetation site in terms of soils, elevation, hydro-dynamics, permanent groundwater table, and soil salinity (which should be low).
Select willow cuttings from a local, native stand in healthy condition. Prune no more than 2/3 of plants in an area. Willow cuttings for pole plantings should generally be at least 1/2 inch in diameter or larger. Select the longest, straightest poles available. Use only two to four-year old wood. The total length of the poles needed depends upon the water table depth.
Measure water table fluctuations in the planting area for at least 1 year, preferably longer, to determine the lowest water table depth. Take a reading at least once a month, preferably more often during the driest months of the year. Cut poles while dormant. Remove all side branches except the top two or three.
Prepare cuttings by trimming off the top to remove the terminal bud, allowing a majority of the energy in the stem to be sent to the lateral buds for root and shot development.
Soak poles in water for at least 5 to 7 days before planting.
Dig holes to the depth of the lowest anticipated water table. Sites where the water table will be within one foot of the ground surface during the growing season are better suited for willows than cottonwoods.
The cuttings should extend several inches into the permanent water table to ensure adequate moisture for sprouting. At least 1/2 to 2/3's of the cutting should be below ground to prevent the cutting from being ripped out during high flows. Usually, at least 2 to 3 feet should be below ground. It should also be long enough to emerge above adjacent vegetation such that it will not be shaded out.
Place the cuttings in the holes the same day they were removed from the soak treatment. Set the butt as close to the lowest annual water table elevation as possible.
Electric hammer drills (Dewalt model DW530) fitted with one-inch diameter, 3-foot bits were used to plant thousands of willows in New Mexico. With one drill, two people installed 500 willow cuttings per day to a 3-foot depth. A power auger or a punch bar can also be used.
Willow pole cuttings were generally planted on 10 to 20 foot centers in New Mexico. Areas with a shallow water table (4-6 feet) were generally planted with a higher number of pole cuttings to enhance overall survival. Often understory species were planted under the canopy of pre-existing overstory (cottonwoods, tree willows), since they are often observed occupying this niche.
It is critical to ensure that the soil is packed around the cutting to prevent air pockets. "Mudding" (filling the hole with water and then adding soil to make mud slurry) can remove air pockets.
When necessary, install tree guards around the poles to protect from beavers, other rodents, or rabbits. Willows tend to be fairly resistant to pruning from beavers, so tree guards may not be necessary.
As buds begin to swell (usually in April or May), remove them from the lower two-thirds of the pole. This will reduce evapo-transpiration water loss and stimulate root growth.
Exclude the planting area from livestock grazing for at least two to three growing seasons.
Willow seeds must be collected as soon as the capsules mature (when they turn from green to yellow or tan).
Plant seeds immediately, since they retain their viability for only a few days at room temperature. Even under the most favorable conditions, maximum storage is four to six weeks.
Germination takes place 12 to 14 hours after planting. Keep soil moist while seedlings germinate and grow.
When seeding outdoors, willows require moist soil from spring over-bank flows, capillary wetting of the soil surface, or irrigation for establishment.
Willows root freely from cuttings, and are easy to propagate. Willows are difficult to propagate in quantity by seed.
The NRCS, Plant Materials Center, Los Lunas, New Mexico, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, developed a pole planting technique for establishing willow (Hoag 1993a). We reprint this procedure below. "Trial planting on well adapted sites indicate more that 80% survival of cottonwood and willow poles when dormant poles are cut and planted between November and February. It is essential to monitor the water tables at proposed planting sites for at least one year before planting. Poles planted where the water table fluctuates widely will have lower survival rates than those planted where water table is relatively stable. If groundwater monitoring shows the water level will drop more than 3 feet during the growing season (May-October), another site should be selected. Monitoring of observation wells for at least one calendar year before planting will allow better planting depth to ensure establishment."
Steps for Successful Pole Plantings
Flower-Visiting Insects of Peach-Leaved Willow in Illinois
(on staminate flowers, short-tongued bees and honeybees suck nectar or collect pollen, while other insects suck nectar; on pistillate flowers, all insects suck nectar; a few observations are from Krombein et al. as indicated below, otherwise they are from Robertson; information about oligolegy in bees comes from Krombein et al.)
On staminate flowers:
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn cp fq; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina calcarata sn, Ceratina dupla dupla sn; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada cuneatus sn fq, Nomada denticulata sn fq, Nomada illinoiensis sn fq, Nomada integerrima sn fq, Nomada luteola sn fq, Nomada obliterata sn, Nomada ovatus sn fq, Nomada sayi sn
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea sn, Augochlora purus sn, Augochlorella striata sn cp, Halictus confusus sn cp fq, Halictus ligatus sn, Halictus rubicunda sn cp fq, Lasioglossum cinctipes sn cp fq, Lasioglossum foxii sn cp fq, Lasioglossum illinoensis sn, Lasioglossum imitatus sn cp fq, Lasioglossum pectoralis sn cp fq, Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus sn cp fq, Lasioglossum truncatus sn cp, Lasioglossum versatus sn cp fq, Lasioglossum zephyrus sn cp fq; Halictidae (Sphecodini): Sphecodes cressonii sn; Colletidae (Colletinae): Colletes inaequalis sn cp; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena andrenoides andrenoides sn cp fq olg (Rb, Kr), Andrena barbilabris sn cp, Andrena bisalicis sn cp olg, Andrena crataegi sn, Andrena cressonii sn cp fq icp, Andrena dunningi sn, Andrena erythrogaster sn cp fq olg (Rb, Kr), Andrena forbesii sn cp fq, Andrena hippotes sn cp fq, Andrena illinoiensis sn cp fq olg, Andrena imitatrix imitatrix sn cp fq, Andrena mandibularis sn cp, Andrena mariae sn cp fq olg, Andrena miserabilis bipunctata sn cp fq, Andrena nuda sn cp, Andrena personata sn, Andrena pruni sn, Andrena salictaria sn cp olg, Andrena sayi sn fq
Pompilidae: Priocnemis cornicus; Vespidae: Vespula germanica
Syrphidae: Brachypalpus oarus, Chalcosyrphus nemorum, Cheilosia punctulata, Chrysogaster antitheus, Helophilus latifrons, Psilota buccata, Sphaerophoria contiqua, Tropidia mamillata; Empididae: Rhamphomyia hirtipes, Rhamphomyia limbata fq, Rhamphomyia priapulus fq; Bombyliidae: Bombylius major; Conopidae: Myopa vesiculosa fq; Muscidae: Morellia micans, Neomyia cornicina
On pistillate flowers:
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera fq; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus pensylvanica; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada cuneatus fq, Nomada denticulata fq, Nomada illinoiensis fq, Nomada integerrima fq, Nomada luteola fq, Nomada ovatus fq, Nomada salicis; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Osmia pumila
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea, Augochlora purus, Halictus confusus fq, Halictus ligatus, Halictus rubicunda fq, Lasioglossum cressonii, Lasioglossum forbesii, Lasioglossum foxii fq, Lasioglossum imitatus fq, Lasioglossum pectoralis fq, Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus fq, Lasioglossum tegularis fq, Lasioglossum versatus fq, Lasioglossum zephyrus fq; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena andrenoides andrenoides fq olg, Andrena bisalicis olg, Andrena carlini, Andrena cressonii fq icp, Andrena dunningi, Andrena erythrogaster fq olg, Andrena erythronii, Andrena forbesii fq, Andrena imitatrix imitatrix fq, Andrena hippotes fq, Andrena mandibularis, Andrena mariae fq olg, Andrena miserabilis bipunctata fq, Andrena rugosa, Andrena sayi fq
Pompilidae: Priocnemis cornicus; Ichneumonidae: Glypta rufiscutellaris fq; Vespidae: Vespula germanica
Tenthredinidae: Dolerus unicolor, Macrophya epinotus, Macrophya pulchelliformis; Xyelidae: Macroxyela ferruginea
Syrphidae: Brachypalpus oarus, Cheilosia punctulata, Eristalis dimidiatus, Eupeodes americanus, Platycheirus obscurus, Platycheirus quadratus, Sphaerophoria contiqua, Syrphus torvus, Toxomerus marginatus; Empididae: Rhamphomyia gilvipilosa, Rhamphomyia limbata fq, Rhamphomyia priapulus fq; Conopidae: Myopa vesiculosa fq, Myopa vicaria fq icp; Tachinidae: Gonia capitata; Calliphoridae: Cynomya cadaverina; Muscidae: Coenosia antennalis, Helina rufitibia, Neomyia cornicina, Phaonia fusca; Anthomyiidae: Delia platura fq; Fanniidae: Fannia manicata; Scathophagidae: Scathophaga furcata; Sepsidae: Sepsis violacea
Orsodacnidae: Orsodacne atra
Flower gender unspecified:
Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena nigrae (Kr)
Riparian communities generally have higher biomass, basal area, stand density, and rates of plant reproduction than adjacent upland communities [92,131]. Fuel loads can therefore be large; however, in most years, riparian zones with peachleaf willow may be too moist to burn. Deciduous riparian plant communities often exhibit low fire incidence due to high moisture in potential fuels and rapid decomposition of litter . However, some riparian areas are surrounded by greater and more continuous fuel accumulations than in the past . The fuel buildups may increase fire severity in these surrounding forests, substantially impacting water flow and sediment transport in riparian areas [1,30].
Because peachleaf willow communities are moist year-round, they act as natural firebreaks in most years but may burn during drought years . In Buffalo River State Park, Minnesota, early May prescribed fires burned through an upland big bluestem-switchgrass-little bluestem (Andropogon gerardii-Sorghastrum nutans-Schizachyrium scoparium) prairie. However, green ash-eastern cottonwood/peachleaf willow galleries on the Buffalo River floodplain had a "large amount of standing water" and failed to burn . The following photo illustrates typical early spring fuels on the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, Montana. A peachleaf willow stringer grows at the interface of a broad-leaved cattail marsh and an upland smooth brome (Bromus inermis) roadside community. A wildfire burned into part of the marsh, the peachleaf willow stringer, and up to the road in April 2009; these photos were taken in April 2012.
|Standing and down fire-killed peachleaf willow stems and live peachleaf willow sprouts surrounded by smooth brome litter (foreground surface fuels) and broad-leaved cattail litter (background surface fuels). Photos by Janet Fryer, US Forest Service.|
Along the Bighorn River, young plains cottonwood woodlands (5-29 years) had large accumulations of dead leaves and twigs but few fallen logs. Standing dead and downed woody debris became more common in middle-aged woodlands (30-54 years). Peachleaf willow was most common in young woodlands; its cover decreased with stand age. Fire-scarred and fire-killed plains cottonwoods gave evidence of past fires .
Fire Management Considerations
Since peachleaf willow sprouts, prescribed or wildfires are unlikely to have any long-term negative effects on this species. However, because there are no data on peachleaf willow's postfire recovery to date (2012), managers may want to test fire effects in small areas before proceeding to larger-scale fire treatments in areas where peachleaf willow persistence is of concern. In riparian areas subject to flood control, Howe and others  suggested that burned areas may provide a partial substitute for flood-scoured areas, providing substrates for establishment of peachleaf willow, plains cottonwood, and other native, woody riparian species. Because peachleaf willow and other native riparian tree species disperse seed in early spring, late fall or winter prescribed fires may best prepare a seedbed timed for early spring establishment of willow and cottonwood seedlings.
In the Northern Great Plains, spread of peachleaf willow into prairie pothole communities in the first half of the 20th century may have been due to fire exclusion .
Fires in areas containing riparian ecosystems may burn only the upland parts of the watershed, or they may burn both the riparian ecosystem and the upland areas. Fire rarely occurs only in a riparian ecosystem, however, unless it is prescribed . The role riparian forests play in fire spread is poorly understood [30,121]. Riparian areas with heavy, continuous fuels may serve as corridors for rapid spread of fire  or reservoirs of smoldering fuels. Conversely, less dense or more mesic riparian areas may serve as firebreaks for surface fires . Riparian microclimates are generally characterized by cooler air temperatures, lower daily maximum air temperatures, and higher relative humidities than the adjacent uplands, contributing to higher fuel moisture and presumably lowering the intensity, severity, and frequency of fire in riparian areas [5,27]. The lower wind speeds generally associated with riparian zones may result in less intense fire behavior, with decreased rates of spread, decreased flame lengths, and lower fireline intensities. However, steep canyons may serve as wind tunnels, increasing fire intensity in narrow valleys with riparian habitat. During droughts, weather and fuel conditions may become the primary determinants of fire behavior, and differences between fire behavior in riparian areas and uplands are likely to disappear . When only upland areas burn, adjacent riparian areas may buffer the effects of fire on the watercourse .
Little is known about historical fire frequencies in prairie riparian zones and wetlands . Although fires were common in the grasslands of the presettlement Great Plains (for example, [61,71]), how often prairie fires burned into cottonwood-willow gallery forests is unknown. Determining fire-return intervals in riparian areas is complicated due to the difficulty of dating fire scars in hardwoods (Swetnam 2001 personal communication ), presence of tree wounds from other disturbances (for example, ice flows), and the short life spans of most riparian hardwood species .
A review reported estimates of 20 to 30 years for historical fire-return interval of plains cottonwood communities along rivers . These riparian areas burned less frequently than the surrounding uplands; fires skipped over or only burned only portions of the riparian zones . Fires most likely occurred late in the growing season, when understory riparian vegetation was cured enough to support a fire.
Because of high moisture content and rapid decomposition of litter in riparian forests, historical fire frequency in black cottonwood communities was probably less than in adjacent upland areas. However, wind-driven fires beginning in upland communities may spread to adjacent riparian forests, particularly when fuel accumulation on upland sites has increased as a result of fire exclusion . Arno  stated that historically, black cottonwood forests along major rivers of the Inland Northwest likely burned frequently because they were surrounded by communities with high fire frequencies, such as ponderosa pine savannas or mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata subsp. vaseyana) steppes. Fires could have easily spread from adjacent communities, particularly prior to widespread livestock grazing and irrigation, when dry grassy fuels were more continuous than they are currently . When fires do occur in black cottonwood communities, they are most severe in old stands with heavy fuel accumulations (, review by ).
In riparian areas of the Southwest, fire frequencies may have increased since historic times because of saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) invasion , altered hydraulic regimes, and land development. For more information, see the FEIS species review of saltcedar.
See the Fire Regime Table for further information on FIRE REGIMES of vegetation communities in which peachleaf willow may occur.
Fire adaptations and plant response to fire
Fire adaptations: Peachleaf willow is well-adapted to flooding disturbance, and its adaptations to flooding also enable it to establish and survive in early postfire environments that are moist. Flooding and fire adaptations include sprouting and establishing on moist sites from wind- or water-dispersed seed (see Regeneration Processes).
Peachleaf willow sprouts after top-kill by fire . Hansen and others  speculate that peachleaf willow sprouts after "all but the hottest fires". Peachleaf willow may sprout from the root crown (, review by ), stems [66,117], and/or boles. On the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge in Stevensville, Montana, large peachleaf willows sprouted from their root crowns, decumbent boles, or both after an April wildfire (Fryer 2009 personal observation).
Plant response to fire: Peachleaf willow root crown and stem sprouts may grow rapidly when favorably moist conditions follow fire. As of 2012, rates of postfire sprout initiation and growth were not documented in the literature.
Because peachleaf willow relies on scouring and substrate deposition for seedling establishment, high-scour floods  are more important to peachleaf willow recruitment than fires. However, peachleaf willow seedlings may establish on a new burn if the fire exposed mineral soil on a favorably moist, open site. Small branch segments that float from upstream may also root and establish on new burns on the edges of watercourses.
More information is needed on the ability of peachleaf willow to regenerate after fire in different seasons, severities, and climate regimes.
POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY :
Tree with adventitious buds and a sprouting root crown
Tall shrub, adventitious buds and a sprouting root crown
Small shrub, adventitious buds and a sprouting root crown
Initial off-site colonizer (off site, initial community)
Immediate Effect of Fire
Most fires top-kill peachleaf willow. Severe fires that burn into the soil organic layer, charring the roots and root crown, may kill peachleaf willow .
More info for the term: succession
Peachleaf willow is not shade tolerant . In urban forest islands of St Paul, Minnesota, peachleaf willow was positively associated with open, early-successional floodplains . On floodplains of the Republican River, Kansas, peachleaf willow seedlings established on open sites, but they did not establish in mature plains cottonwood or American elm stands .
Peachleaf willow is characteristic and often dominant in early floodplain succession (for example, [45,98,134,135]). Floods that create or expose sandbars and mudflats may encourage establishment of peachleaf willow and other pioneering woody species. Without further disturbances, seedling establishment is usually limited to the first 1 to 5 years after scouring . On floodplains of the Republican River, Kansas, peachleaf willow, black willow, and plains cottonwood established on alluvium 1 to 2 years after it was deposited. Although black willow was initially dominant, peachleaf willow and plains cottonwood overtopped black willow in 8 to 10 years. Peachleaf willow rarely persisted on these sites for more than 30 years. The authors suggested that canopy closure was responsible for peachleaf willow's successional decline. After about 100 years—as the plains cottonwoods died—these communities succeeded to mixed-deciduous American elm/common hackberry communities . On braided channels of the Milk River, Montana, peachleaf willow and sandbar willow were the only woody species growing on sites where spring ice scouring had occurred 2 years prior . In northern Minnesota, peachleaf willow established on the newly-exposed bottom of Sunken Lake after a gravel ridge slumped and the lake drained. Peachleaf willow established on sandy sites of the old lake bottom but not on peaty sites. The old lake site was surrounded by a white pine-jack pine-quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) forest .
Across riparian zones of the Great Plains, peachleaf willow and other willows are generally replaced by cottonwoods, then green ash, boxelder, and/or elms as succession proceeds (for example, [3,45,98,134,135,146]). In plains cottonwood/willow communities on the Yellowstone River floodplain, peachleaf willow and plains cottonwood seedlings formed thickets on new sand- and gravelbars. Peachleaf willow seedlings overtopped plains cottonwood seedlings initially, but plains cottonwoods grew taller and assumed dominance after 20 years . Peachleaf willow was rare in mature plains cottonwood stands . On sites without plains cottonwood, green ash replaced peachleaf willow successionally; no timeline was given for this succession . By the Knife River of west-central North Dakota, peachleaf willow and plains cottonwood regeneration was absent in mature plains cottonwood/peachleaf willow communities. Most seedlings and saplings in the understories were green ash, with some American elm and boxelder. Green ash was expected to dominate in late succession . In Montana, peachleaf willow is characteristic of riparian communities in primary succession, often succeeding to boxelder/common chokecherry or green ash/common chokecherry community types . In southern Alberta  and Saskatchewan , the peachleaf willow community type is succeeded by yellow willow (S. lutea)/red-osier dogwood or green ash community types.
Along the Bighorn River of Wyoming, peachleaf willow was most common in the understory of young (5-29 years) plains cottonwood woodlands. Russian-olive displaced peachleaf willow in middle-aged (30-54 years) woodlands, when most peachleaf willows and narrowleaf willows were dead or dying. No living willows were present in woodlands older than 79 years. In middle-aged and older woodlands, fire-scarred and fire-killed plains cottonwoods gave evidence of past fires. Trees in young and middle-aged woodlands showed evidence of American beaver damage .
A post-Dust Bowl survey (early 1940s) taken along the Niobrara River in Cherry County, Nebraska, found sandbar willow established on recently deposited sand, while peachleaf willow and plains cottonwood were most common on stabilized sandbars. These early-seral stages were not frequent: Most riparian communities were in late succession and dominated by American elm and boxelder. Underrepresentation of early-seral riparian communities was attributed to die-off of willows and cottonwoods during the drought .
In foothills and mountains of Wyoming, peachleaf willow may dominate early stages of succession in Engelmann spruce-Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine-subalpine fir forests, and persist in open understories as a common to dominant species .
Hansen  noted that in eastern Montana, peachleaf willow, plains cottonwood, and boxelder sometimes invaded moist grasslands. As wetlands dried, plant communities often transitioned from Sphagnum bogs to reed canarygrass-reed grass-foxtail barley (Phragmites communis-Hordeum jubatum) wet grasslands to deciduous woodlands that could contain peachleaf willow .
Altered succession: Flooding restrictions and/or invasion by nonnative woody species may reduce recruitment of peachleaf willow and other native woody species in riparian zones . Low peachleaf willow recruitment was noted along dammed sections of the upper Missouri River in North Dakota; decline of peachleaf willow and plains cottonwood was linked to cessation of flooding and other alterations in the hydraulic regime [58,59]. A study along the Middle Snake River of southern Idaho suggested that mixed-deciduous woodlands dominated by nonnatives have increased in area since the late 1930s. The authors attributed this increase to reduced flooding and invasion by Russian-olive and saltcedar. Peachleaf willow was the most common native species codominating these nonnative riparian woodlands . Along the Rio Grande of central New Mexico, flood control, coupled with rapid colonization by saltcedar and Russian-olive, has restricted establishment of plains cottonwood in gallery forests. Peachleaf willow dominanted the subcanopy, but the authors predicted that without management intervention, saltcedar and Russian-olive would dominate the canopy in 50 to 100 years .Altered hydrologic regimes can change successional trajectories even when nonnatives are not present. In the absence of flooding disturbance [20,59]—or less frequently, fire —peachleaf willow, other willows, and cottonwoods are replaced successionally by green ash, boxelder, American elm, and/or bur oak [20,59].
Peachleaf willow regenerates vegetatively by sprouting from the root crown (, review by ) and/or stem [66,117], by layering, and by rooting of broken stem and branch segments (review by ). It does not root sprout (, Zasada 2012 personal communication ). A greenhouse study using peachleaf willow stem cuttings found most of peachleaf willow's adventitious buds were located above ground, although some were below ground .
Flood control can decrease peachleaf willow sprouting and seedling establishment. Willow regeneration failure has been noted on rivers subject to flood-control regulation from Alberta to Arizona . On regulated, lowland areas of the South Fork Republican River, peachleaf willow sprouts and adults tended to occur on terraces and seedlings were rare. In upstream areas without flood regulation, sprouts and adults were more abundant in scour zones than on terraces, and seedlings occurred on moist, bare substrates in scour zones [64,65]. Following a large flood of the South Fork Republican River in 1915 and a record flood in 1935, root crown sprouts were more common for peachleaf willows than for plains cottonwoods. Peachleaf willow and plains cottonwood seedlings established only on scoured floodplains lacking trees, while Russian-olive seedlings established on both floodplains and terraces beneath tree canopies .
Peachleaf willow establishes on pointbars, mudflats, and other newly deposited or newly exposed, moist surfaces [58,110]. Meandering rivers tend to have many sites that favor peachleaf willow establishment . In small streams, scouring activity may not be strong enough to create substrates favorable for peachleaf willow seedling establishment. In the plains grasslands of northwestern Nebraska, mature peachleaf willows grew only intermittently along small streams, and no seedlings were found. However, peachleaf willow was common to dominant and represented in all age classes along larger waterways that experienced heavy bank scouring .
The substrate must be continuously moist for peachleaf willow germinants to survive . Establishment is mostly confined to the pioneer stage of riparian succession [20,58]. Mineral soil or gravel is the typical substrate, although establishment also occurs on other moist substrates. Seeds must be on the substrate surface; buried seeds show low rates of emergence . In eastern Colorado, peachleaf willow showed best establishment in channel narrows and other areas where scouring occurred  (see Vegetative regeneration). Along the Missouri River in Nebraska, Weaver  observed thickets of short-statured peachleaf willows on sandbars and banks, while stands of peachleaf willow trees grew on terraces. In Fort Collins, Colorado, rate of peachleaf willow establishment across 3 years ranged from 1.8 seedlings/m² to 2.6 seedlings/m². The substrate was moist alluvium and gravel in an abandoned gravel pit .
Factors reducing seedling establishment include drying of the substrate, altered hydrologic regimes, and interference from invasive nonnative trees, particularly saltcedar (Tamarisk spp.) and Russian-olive. Along the Arkansas River in Kansas, peachleaf willow and sandbar willow were more abundant on sites with low plains cottonwood and/or saltcedar numbers . See Altered succession for further details.
The seeds of peachleaf willow and other willow species are short-lived, so seed banking does not occur in willows. Willow species that disperse seed in spring , such as peachleaf willow 142, lose seed viability even more rapidly than willows that disperse seed in fall . At best, fresh peachleaf willow seeds are viable for a few days. Even under ideal storage conditions, the seeds are viable for only 4 to 6 weeks .
Wind and water disperse peachleaf willow seeds [20,150,151]. The cottony hairs aid in dispersal . Wind may carry the seeds long distances, although most land near the parent plant . In the South Platte River Watershed in north-central Colorado, willow seed rain collected in aerial traps averaged 524 seeds/m³/week; seeds dispersed in mid-July. Peachleaf willow was among 5 willows that occurred on study sites; the willow seeds were not identifiable to species . In Canyon de Chelly National Monument, aerial seed rain of peachleaf willow and 3 other willow species peaked at 213 seeds/m²/day. Seeds were trapped on sticky plywood in May and June .
|Cottony peachleaf willow seeds.|
Pollination and breeding system
Although peachleaf willow hybridizes, greenhouse studies suggest that different periods of pollen release among willows  and low fertility of hybrids  may limit hybridization and formation of hybrid peachleaf willow swarms. In the greenhouse, female peachleaf willow flowers were receptive to pollination for 4 days; that was the longest period of receptivity among 6 willow species .
Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)
More info for the term: phanerophyte
Raunkiaer  life form:
Fire Regime Table
Peachleaf willow may grow more slowly than associated willow species. Generally, its sprouts grow more rapidly than its seedlings. Peachleaf willow seedlings may initially gain more root than aboveground biomass . In Fort Collins, Colorado, mean height of 3-year-old peachleaf willow seedlings was 5.9 inches (15.1 cm). The seedlings established in an abandoned gravel pit .
Peachleaf willow siblings gained less biomass in 1 to 2.5 years than Missouri River willow, narrowleaf willow, and shining willow siblings in a common garden in Ontario. However, this difference might have occurred because peachleaf willow was less adapted to the well-drained soils of the common garden than the other willow species. Peachleaf willow siblings were collected from either poorly drained or permanently inundated sites. Missouri River willow and narrowleaf willow were collected from moist but well-drained soils near fast-flowing streams [6,89]. A greenhouse study using stem cuttings found growth rate of peachleaf willow was intermediate between growth of basket willow (S. viminalis, the fastest) and Missouri River willow (the slowest), averaging 15.2 inches (38.6 cm) in stem length 4 weeks after planting. Peachleaf willow plants grew the fewest number of stems (1.2 stems/root crown). In an outside nursery, 4-year-old, coppiced peachleaf willows had the fewest live stems and the highest rate of stem die-off among the 3 willow species. After one growing season, peachleaf willow averaged about 18 sprouts/root crown .
Peachleaf willow plants produce thousands of very small seeds . Because peachleaf willow and other willows are preferred browse species, moose and other browsing herbivores may reduce seed production considerably .
Sprouts generally produce seed at a younger stem age than plants derived from seeds .
Life History and Behavior
More info for the term: phenology
Peachleaf willow flowers, fruits, and disperses seed in spring [141,141]. Catkins and leaves emerge at the same time [25,39]. Seed dispersal usually coincides with spring flooding . In Canyon de Chelly National Monument, peachleaf willow seedfall peaked in May and June . Near Boulder, Colorado, seedfall peaked during the last 2 weeks of May . In Fort Collins, Colorado, seed dispersal dates across 3 years (1994-1996) varied by 3 weeks (31 May- 23 June). Delayed seed production in 1995 was attributed to below-normal temperatures and frequent rains in May and early June . Peachleaf willow flowers from early April to June to across its range :
|Peachleaf willow phenology|
|Minnesota||flowers May-June |
|Nevada||flowers May-June |
|North Dakota||flowers May |
|Wisconsin||flowers April-mid-May |
|Great Plains||flowers May |
fruits late May-June [39,125]
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Salix amygdaloides
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Salix amygdaloides
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 11
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status, such as, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values.
Cottonwood-willow communities are vulnerable to overgrazing . Because peachleaf willow is usually multistemmed and has relatively soft wood, it is susceptible to heavy trampling and rubbing by ungulates; with sustained heavy use, downed woody debris from such damage can render the area inaccessible to livestock [44,135]. Heavy livestock and/or wild ungulate use can alter plant species composition and community structure. These sources: [129,141] provide guidelines for managing cottonwood-willow communities as rangelands.
Peachleaf willow showed good recovery after livestock were excluded from sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) steppe in eastern Washington. Cattle, domestic sheep, and horses grazed Rattlesnake Springs, a homestead site, heavily from about 1900 to 1940. The site was incorporated into the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in 1943. An exclosure was built in 1963 to stop livestock from wandering onto the site, although mule deer and elk still had access. In 1963, peachleaf willow cover was "sparse and discontinuous" along the springs. By 1983, peachleaf willow had formed continuous borders around springs and showed "vigorous recovery"; this was attributed to the cessation of livestock use .
A study on the Roosevelt National Forest found peachleaf willow tolerated long-term cattle browsing more than associated planeleaf, Geyer, or narrowleaf willows. Relative abundance of peachleaf willow decreased with browsing pressure but was least on unbrowsed plots (P<0.05) .
Periodic flooding is usually required to maintain cottonwood-willow communities (see Successional Status).
To promote establishment of peachleaf willow and other early-successional, native woody species, Johnson  recommends prescribed flooding, with peak flows that are voluminous enough to erode the outside curves of rivers and create pointbars on the inside curves.
A laboratory study found peachleaf willow was more resistant to cavitation and loss of water conductivity than saltcedar. The authors concluded that superior hydraulic capacity does not adequately explain saltcedar's ability to invade communities with peachleaf willow and other riparian species .
Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)
Containerized peachleaf willow saplings are available from most nurseries in the areas where they grow. We recommend using plants from the same region, elevation, climate, soil type, moisture, or hydrologic regime as you are replanting.
Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”
Willows were traditionally tended by pruning or burning to produce long straight stems.
Willow is gathered only at certain times of the year, beginning in the autumn after the leaves fall. For many weavers, gathering will continue until the following spring when the sap begins to rise again.
Often, basketweavers will prune many willows, sometimes replanting the stems, so there will be nice straight basketry materials the following year.
Before gathering, the weavers make offerings of thanks and pray for permission to gather. Often tobacco or other offerings are given before beginning to gather.
Basket weavers process materials with their hands and mouths. Herbicides sprayed on willows and along streams have a much higher health risk for humans when they are processed and used for traditional materials.
Traditional resource management of willow includes the following:
Howe and Knopf (1991) conclude that to ensure the survival of willows and cottonwoods in riparian communities, resource managers need to implement strategies to control the spread of exotic species.
Livestock grazing has widely been identified as a leading factor causing or contributing to degradation of riparian habitats in the western United States (Chaney et al. 1990, Fleischner 1994, Ohmart 1996). Livestock grazing can alter vegetative structure and composition of riparian habitat. Overgrazing, especially by livestock and big game, frequently changes plant species composition and growth form, density of stands, vigor, seed production of plants, and insect production. Livestock grazing can cause the replacement of bird and mammal species requiring the vertical vegetation structure of riparian habitat to species, which are ubiquitous in their habitat preferences. Previous heavy cattle grazing changed the bird and small mammal community composition in riparian areas through reduction of shrub and herbaceous cover.
Slovlin (1984) recommended a 5-year rest from cattle grazing to re-establish healthy stands of riparian vegetation such as cottonwood and willows. Siekert et al. (1985) reported that spring grazing showed no significant changes in channel morphology, whereas summer and fall grazing did. However, even with limited seasonal grazing, all tree seedlings would be eliminated. Marlow and Pogacnik (1985) recommended fencing riparian habitat, rest-rotation, light grazing (<20% forage removal), and grazing after streambanks have dried to 10% moisture.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites
Willows are widely planted to stabilize stream- and riverbanks and reduce flood damage [140,141] and to enhance wildlife habitats . Peachleaf willow is recommended for planting near stream edges, pond margins, and on other sites with saturated soils . Several peachleaf willow cultivars have been developed for different regions of the United States. See the Natural Resources Conservation Service  for details. See these sources for information on propagation and planting peachleaf willow: [26,101,141,150,151].
Peachleaf willow may establish naturally on rehabilitation sites , although invasive species may also establish and need to be controlled. Near the Platte River in Nebraska, naturally established peachleaf willow seedlings grew on newly abandoned grain fields sown or planted with other native species. Peachleaf willow also established in prairie potholes in 3- to 14-year-old abandoned agricultural fields that had their natural drainages restored. However, most of these reflooded potholes became dominated by nonnative reed canarygrass and other invasive perennials, including native broad-leaved cattail. The authors stated that restoration of preagricultural species composition and structure is unlikely on similar prairie pothole wetlands without native plantings and follow-up maintenance . In Fort Collins, Colorado, saltcedar (T. ramosissima) seedlings established in an abandoned gravel pit at densities nearly equal to those of peachleaf willow and plains cottonwood seedlings. Saltcedar seedlings were controlled by flooding the gravel pit in fall. This reduced saltcedar cover to 6.1%, while combined cover of peachleaf willow, plains cottonwood, and narrowleaf willow was 41.1% .
Importance to Livestock and Wildlife
Peachleaf willow and other willows are important, often primary, sources of browse for wild ungulates. They are particularly important for moose and elk [2,45,140]. Peachleaf willow communities in eastern Montana provide relatively moderate volumes of forage, but they are important forage areas for wild and domestic ungulates because they generally stay green throughout summer . Cottontails [2,19] and American beavers also browse peachleaf willow twigs, and American beavers use the branches in dam construction .
Cattle generally prefer grazing grasses to browsing willows, but they may select peachleaf willow occasionally . On the Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado, cattle in a riparian area browsed peachleaf willow in winter .
Cottonwood/willow (Populus/Salix spp.) communities provide habitat for a diverse assortment of animal species including wild ungulates, American beavers , birds [28,115,116,127], and insects . This is particularly true in areas where the uplands are too dry to support trees . In eastern Montana, green ash/chokecherry wooded draws with peachleaf willow provide habitat for mule deer. Peachleaf willow is among the woody species mule deer use as forage .
Many migratory birds nest in cottonwood-willow habitats; warblers and other foliage- or aerial gleaners are particularly prevalent . In eastern South Dakota, bird species diversity was higher in cottonwood-willow riparian woodlands than in wooded shelterbelts and windbreaks (P=0.001). Peachleaf willow was often abundant in these communities . Along the Snake River of Idaho, peachleaf willow and other willow communities supported more songbird, gamebird, and raptor species than Russian-olive communities . Stevens and others  reported that cottonwood/willow habitats of Arizona support a density of migratory birds more than 10 times that of upland areas. Peachleaf willow and other willows provide habitat and nesting cover for the federally endangered southwestern willow flycatcher .
|Southwestern willow flycatcher nest in a willow. USGS photo.|
Many insects use peachleaf willow habitats; mosquitoes are especially noticeable in wetlands with peachleaf willow .
Palatability: Palatability of peachleaf willow browse is rated fair to good for domestic livestock, good for elk and mule deer, fair for white-tailed deer, and poor for pronghorn . No information was available on its nutritional value as of 2012.
Cover value: Peachleaf willow provides good hiding and thermal cover for all categories of wildlife. It also provides shade cover for fish [43,44,45]. Its cover value is rated fair for waterfowl and good for upland game birds, songbirds, and small mammals [44,45].
Because peachleaf willow grows as either a tree or shrub, many different bird guilds use it for nesting, including branch, bole, and ground nesters. Along the North Platte and Laramie rivers in Wyoming, house wrens, hairy woodpeckers, and northern flickers nested in the boles of peachleaf willow trees . Height and bole dimensions of peachleaf willows were apparently optimal for northern flickers . On the South Platte River of northeastern Colorado, mourning doves used peachleaf willow trees and shrubs for daytime hiding cover and nested in peachleaf willow trees . Ducks, including redheads, gadwalls, and cinnamon teals, use peachleaf willow as nesting cover in marshes of the Bear River Delta, Utah .
Other uses and values
American Indians used peachleaf willow medicinally, in basketry, for making cooking utensils and fish weirs, and in ceremonies [48,127]. Infusions of willow bark, including that of peachleaf willow, were used to treat pain and inflammation [48,127]. The active medicinal ingredient producing this effect, salicylic acid, is now manufactured synthetically (review by ). American Indians used periodic fire or pruning to encourage growth of long, straight stems for basketry .
Willows were used for making dye, furniture, mats, baskets, drums, stirrups, tipi pegs and pins, fox and fish traps, hunting lodge poles, and meat-drying racks (Kindscher 1992). Willows were and still are used for baskets throughout their range. The Paiute, Ute, Shoshone, Hopi, Havasupai, Mandan, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, and others use Salix lucida for basketweaving (James 1972, Mason 1988).
Kelly Kindscher(1992) wrote in Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prairie: "The Blackfeet made a tea from the fresh root of Salix species to treat internal hemorrhage, throat constrictions, swollen neck glands, and bloodshot or irritated eyes. The twigs were also gathered and preserved. Steeped in boiling water, they were made into a tea to cure fever or alleviate pain."
Salix species were used as chew sticks to clean teeth by many other Indian tribes, including the Choctaw, Delaware, and Cheyenne. The peachleaf willow was favored by the Osage, Delaware, and Cherokee for this purpose (Elvin-Lewis 1979). The Kiowa made a tea of willow leaves, which they rubbed on the body to cure pneumonia and relieve rheumatic aches. They also chewed the bark to relieve toothaches (Vestal and Shultes 1939). The Comanche burned the stems of the willow and used the ashes to treat
sore eyes (Carlson and Jones 1939). To restore themselves both physically and mentally, the Dakota drank a willow-bark tea (Andros 1883). The Ojibwe used peachleaf willow bark externally to treat skin rashes.
Aspirin is the pharmaceutical equivalent of willow bark tea, which is an effective remedy for headache, fever or sore throat. More than 2,400 years ago, the Greeks learned to use extracts of several native willow species to treat pain, gout, and other illnesses. In more recent times, in 1839, salicylic acid was isolated from wild plants and manufactured synthetically. Early salicylic acid-based products had unpleasant side effects. Sixty years later, the Bayer Company developed a derivative of salicylic acid, called it aspirin, and the rest is history.
Tea made from willow leaves will cure laryngitis. Willow reduces inflammation of joints and membranes (Moore 1979). When used as an analgesic, willow treats urethra and bladder irritation, infected wounds, and eczema. Willow is used as an over-all treatment of many diseases, including hay fever, diarrhea, prostatitis, satyriasis, and as a relief of ovarian pain. A poultice is made for treating gangrene and skin ulcers.
Young willow shoots can be stripped of their bark and eaten. The young leaves may be eaten in case of emergency. The inner bark can be eaten raw, prepared like spaghetti, or made into flour.
Riparian: Peachleaf willow is an overstory dominant species in many riparian ecosystems throughout the American west and midwest. Riparian ecosystem functions provided by willows include the following: 1) Riparian vegetation traps sediments and nutrients from surface runoff and prevents them from entering the aquatic system; 2) the dense matrix of roots in the riparian zone can serve as an effective filter of shallow groundwater; 3) water quality is improved through filtration and the trapping of sediment, nutrients (particularly nitrogen dissolved in groundwater), and pollutants; and 4) riparian areas act as a sponge by absorbing floodwaters. The water is then slowly released over a period of time, which minimizes flood damage and sustains higher base flows during late summer.
Wildlife: Structurally complex riparian vegetation communities provide many different habitats and support a diverse array of animal species. The multiple layers of vegetation provide multiple niches for many species of insects and wildlife canopies of plants growing on streambank provide shade, cooling stream water, while roots stabilize and create overhanging banks, providing habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms.
Rabbits and many ungulates (including deer, moose, and elk) browse on willow twigs, foliage, and bark (Martin 1951). Beaver love willow branches. Several species of birds eat willow buds and young twigs. Riparian forests support a high diversity of breeding birds (Miller 1951). The percentage of breeding individuals, which are migratory, is very high in the cottonwood-willow habitat. Moister conditions in the cottonwood-willow forest may promote lusher plant growth, higher invertebrate populations and, therefore, more available food for flycatchers, warblers, and other migratory, insectivorous birds. Riparian areas support up to 10.6 times the density of migrant birds per hectare as adjacent non-riparian areas (Stevens et al. 1977). Most of these migratory birds belong to the foliage insect (47%) or air insect (34%) foraging guilds.
Salix amygdaloides (peachleaf willow) is a species of willow native to southern Canada and the United States, from Quebec west to western British Columbia, southeast to eastern Kentucky, and southwest and west to Arizona and Nevada, respectively.
It is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree, growing to 4–20 m (13–66 ft) tall; besides the cottonwoods, it is the largest tree native to the prairies. It has a single trunk, or sometimes several shorter trunks. The leaves are lanceolate, 3–13 cm long and 1–4 cm wide, yellowish green with a pale, whitish underside and a finely serrated margin. The flowers are yellow catkins, 3–8 cm long, produced in the spring with the leaves. The reddish-yellow fruit matures in late spring or early summer, and the individual capsules are 4–6 mm long.
It can be found on the northern prairies, often near streams, and accompanying cottonwoods. As both the common and scientific names suggest, the leaves bear some similarity to those of a peach or an almond (Latin, amygdalus).
Names and Taxonomy
Peachleaf willow hybridizes with other Humboldtiana willows , including coastal plain willow (S. caroliniana) [7,81], black willow (S. nigra) [33,81], and Goodding's willow (S. gooddingii) . Peachleaf willow hybrids include:
Salix × glatfelteri C.K. Schneid. (× S. nigra), Glatfelter's willow [7,33,36,81,83]; occurs in the Midwest 
Salix × wrightii Andserss. (× S. gooddingii), Wright's willow; occurs in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas [33,56].
Synonym: Salix amygdaloides var. wrightii (Anderss.) Schneid. 
peach leaf willow
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