Crack Willow is a large willow tree found along riverbanks, around lakes and in wet woodland. It is often planted alongside rivers and dykes to stabilise their banks and dykes, and is usually pollarded to allow light through to the water. These pollards can be contorted and gnarled, and often so full of crevices that other species start to grow from them such as Ash and Holly. Crack Willow is so-named because its trunk can grow so fast that it is liable to split open under its own weight.
How to identify?
Crack Willow is often pollarded with a gnarled, cracked trunk. It has long, dark green leaves which are glossier than those of the White Willow, and have more jagged teeth along the edges.