Itea virginica L. `Sprich' (virginia sweetspire), Salix alba L. (white willow), and S. gracilistyla var. melanostachys (Mak.) Miq. (black pussywillow) were treated with a 4 mg·L-1 suspension of two herbicides, isoxaben and oryzalin, a water control (water) or a nonsaturated control (control) for 9 days. Growth and photosynthetic responses were monitored before, during and after the 9-day treatment for a total of 51 days. Growth index of white willow and virginia sweetspire was only reduced by isoxaben treatment while both herbicides reduced the growth index for black pussywillow compared to control. Plant dry weights of the willows were not affected by day 9. Final dry weight was lower for both herbicide treatments for all taxa. The water treatment resulted in lower total dry weight than control only for virginia sweetspire. Isoxaben reduced photosystem II efficiency (Fv/Fm) and CO2 assimilation (A) following release from treatments of virginia sweetspire and black pussywillow. There were few differences in Fv/Fm and A for white willow. The response to oryzalin was similar to water for most parameters measured for virginia sweetspire and white willow. Growth was more strongly affected by oryzalin for black pussywillow than for other taxa but there were few differences in Fv/Fm or A between oryzalin and control for any of the taxa. Virginia sweetspire and white willow showed promise for use in phytoremediation of oryzalin but none of the taxa performed well under the levels of isoxaben used. Chemical names used: isoxaben (N-[3-(1-ethyl-1-methylpropyl)-5-isoxazolyly]-2,6-dimethoxybenzamide); oryzalin (4-(dipropylamino)-3,5-dinitrobenzenesulforamide).