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Willow Removal for Habitat Restoration
2/4/2016
Credit:
City of Fort Collins
Watch for the removal of crack willows in Kingfisher Point Natural Area in the coming months. Crack willow (Salix fragilis) is a fast growing tree that is native to Europe and Western Asia. As an introduced species here, it crowds out native willows and cottonwood trees in riverside habitats. Crack willows do not provide quality habitat for wildlife. For example, cavity nesters like woodpeckers prefer native trees and are not as likely to construct cavities in crack willows. This, in turn leaves fewer cavities for those that use already excavated cavities like wood ducks and screech owls. Once crack willows are removed, the forest will be more open which allows native willows and cottonwood trees to take root this spring.