The “weeping willow” is one of those trees most of us can identify. Often associated with water bodies, it is distinctive. In my experience, the East Village is a good place to find them, often dominating community gardens. Columbia St. (above) and Red Hook (below) are good places to spot them in Brooklyn. All of these neighborhoods are low-lying — Red Hook was an island at high tide back in the day (way back in the day), and the East Village was infamously built on very soggy ground. Salix babylonica, native to western China, is the classic Weeping Willow, but there are a number of hybrids between it, White Willow (S. alba), a Eurasian-origin tree, and Crack Willow (S. fragilis), a native species. To quote Sibley, “the taxonomy of cultivate willows is very complex.”
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This work by Matthew Wills is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.