The trees at Keele

We have over 150 species of tree on campus, not counting the 240 species and varieties of Flowering Cherry! Amongst them are many of our common native species as well as some more unusual ones. So, if you can't tell a Beech from a Birch or just want to know a bit more about them then read on!

Crack Willow  Salix fragilis

Crack Willow

Origin: A native species, often abundant beside rivers and canals where it is often pollarded.

The status of Crack Willow is confused. Its name is given to a complex of tree-willows consisting of a number of distinct segregates all of which share the features below. In Staffordshire we have three varieties : Salix fragilis fragilis, Salix f. russeliana and Salix f. decipiens.

The bark is covered by a network of thick ridges. The tree has long slender, upswept branches with rather pendulous leaves. The shoots are pale orange before the leaves appear in March/April.

The twigs are brittle at the point of attachment and break off cleanly at the base - hence the name Crack Willow.

Location : one small tree by the pool behind the Sports Centre, compartment 56F, square J4, tag 2191; another by Estates and Buildings compartment 50B, square K5, tag 2282.