Prairie Willow

Availability: Out of stock

Hardy natives with touchably soft fuzzy spring catkins, the Prairie Willow Tree (Salix humilis) provides some of the greatest benefits to wildlife offered by any plant! Graceful and fluffy, these upright shrubby trees are not like their tall, weeping cousins, and go against the family grain by tolerating drier sites instead of wetland ones!

The male trees form tiny white, fuzzy bottlebrushes, and bees use the nectar to produce quality honey! Female trees form long catkins with fluffy seeds that birds use to line nests or eat. Wide oval-shaped vibrant green foliage has a slight ripple to the edge and fills out these compact, spreading plants. Prune into a multi-stemmed tree form to elevate it to front garden status.

Turning briefly yellow in fall, Willow is one of the last to lose its leaves before winter. Grow it in a mulched area to enjoy zero fall cleanup! Smaller sized, these are versatile, low-maintenance additions! Cold-hardy smaller plants throughout USDA hardiness zones 4 to 6, these plants grow no more than 5-10 feet in height and 4-8 feet wide.

Planting and Application:

Prairie Willows thrive in open prairies, along roadsides, and disturbed sandy soil. These are great back-of-the-border property divisions, hedgerows, and screening! These sun-loving trees and shrubs thrive as an understory that attracts birds and insects to your wildlife landscape. You can prune these large shrubs into small into a multi-stemmed tree form to elevate it to front garden status and create a fluffy upright accent!

Fast-growing and fluffy rather than weeping and elegant, Prairie Willow is perfectly happy being garden structure and xeric workhorses instead of standing in the spotlight. Feeding birds and their chicks, the dense form are ideal shelter for nesting and roosting! Plant in hedgerows and windbreaks, foraging for food in these vital wildlife thickets.

  • Soft Green Foliage & Fine Texture
  • Shrubby Fluffy Upright Form
  • Fuzzy Spring Catkins On Male & Female Plants
  • Bird & Pollinator Friendly Shrubs
  • Xeric & Harsh Conditions, Hedges & Screening

#ProPlantTips for Care:

Willows do great in full sun and partial sun, and Prairie Willows handle poor conditions and drier sites, these are tough species in any average well-drained soil. Water young trees regularly while establishing, but after, these deer-resistant trees are adaptable to very moist conditions and occasional drought. Prune in late winter to remove crossing and damaged limbs and mulch the root zone to hold in moisture and insulate the roots.

  • Full Sun to Partial Sun
  • Tolerates Dry Sandy Soil & Occasional Drought
  • Prune for a Formal Effect, Cut to Ground or Into a Tree Form
  • Xeric & Great Erosion Control
  • Fast-Growing Shrubby Deciduous Natives

The hardy native Prairie Willow adds adaptability and habitat to your landscape in one fantastic package! Order your landscape workhorses from today before they're gone!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

Click Here to learn more

Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
4 Now
5 Now
6 Now
7 Now
8 Now
9 Now
10 Now
11 Now

Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Prairie Willow Is Suited to Grow in Zones 4 - 6
Growing Zones 4 - 6
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Salix humilis
Type Deciduous
Mature Height 3 - 8 Feet
Mature Spread 2 - 6 Feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Well Drained Soil
Moisture Medium
Growth Rate Fast
Flower Color Green
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time Late Winter
Fragrant No