Short rotation coppice (SRC) of willow and poplar might be a promising phytoremediation option since it uses fast growing, high biomass producing tree species with often a sufficient metal uptake. This study evaluates growth, metal uptake and extraction potentials of eight willow clones (Belders, Belgisch Rood, Christina, Inger, Jorr, Loden, Tora and Zwarte Driebast) on a metal-contaminated ... [Show full abstract] agricultural soil, with total cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) concentrations of 6.5 +/- 0.8 and 377 +/- 69 mg kg(-1) soil, respectively. Although, during the first cycle, on average generally low productivity levels (3.7 ton DM (dry matter) ha(-1) y(-1)) were obtained on this sandy soil, certain clones exhibited quite acceptable productivity levels (e.g. Zwarte Driebast 12.5 ton DM ha(-1) y(-1)). Even at low biomass productivity levels, SRC of willow showed promising removal potentials of 72 g Cd and 2.0 kg Zn ha(-1) y(-1), which is much higher than e.g. energy maize or rapeseed grown on the same soil Cd and Zn removal can be increased by 40% if leaves are harvested as well. Nevertheless, nowadays the wood price remains the most critical factor in order to implement SRC as an acceptable, economically feasible alternative crop on metal-contaminated agricultural soils.