The Austree, or "tree from Australia", is a hybrid willow botanically known as Salix matsudana x alba.
Promotional literature may sound too good to be true. While there may be some potential on Eastern Colorado farms and ranches for windbreaks, shelterbelts and erosion control, Front Range gardeners are advised not to plant the tree in their yards.
This willow, like other willows, must have plenty of water and will show dieback if it experiences any drought, summer or winter. Fast-growing trees, such as willows, are susceptible to storm damage. Willows have vigorous, extensive root systems that can invade and clog sewer lines.
If planted in the Denver area, homeowners also can expect the tree to be short-lived, prone to winter injury, chlorosis, bacterial wetwood, aphids and canker diseases. Many more desirable landscape plants are available.
Photograph courtesy Of University of Connecticut.
© CSU/Denver County Extension Master Gardener 2010
888 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver, CO 80210
Date last revised: 01/05/2010