I have always been a fan of willow trees. largely because I enjoy their habits and almost mystical fairy tale look in certain situations, perhaps because they are often found around water it contributes to the aura about them. they have some exceptional qualities outside of their often interesting looks.
willows are great for erosion control around water. they root easily and grow fast. they can have aggressive roots which needs to be noted when placing them...or allowing them...to grow.
the willow contains large amounts of salicylic acid. it is similiar to aspirin and was often used traditionally as a pain reliever and fever reducer. you might notice that salicylic acid is often on the label of skin care products and is used in the treatement of acne as it tends to make the skin shed more rapidly to help unclog pores and and prevent the minor infections associated with them.
the tips of the leaves (especially) contain significant amounts of plants hormones that will help themselves and other species to root more easily. a soak in willow water can help get harder to root cuttings off and going.
their thin flexible branches can be used in basketry and wicker furniture and probalby have hundreds of other uses.
because of its rapid growth and ease of reproduction willows have numerous other uses as forage, biomass production, privacy screens etc....
any one have any other cool tidbits and uses for willows?
"One cannot help an involuntary process. The point is not to disturb it. - Dr. Michel Odent
Joined: Nov 08, 2008
Location: West Iowa
What's your favorite willow? native ones that grow around here are peachleaf, black, and pussy willows. But they aren't my favorite. I posted in the thread top 5 trees this
1) hybrid willow, specifically the hybrid that was bred in new zealand, also known as the austree and many other names. Good along streams, good erosion control, temporary windbreak, good rabbit and deer fodder, also a deer rub favorite. Also, I think squirrels strip upper branches. They become huge in a hurry, and probably would have holes form in them, which would be good wildlife habitat. Example: planted 5ft stake this spring along an everpresent stream, and it grew 13ft this year, so it was 18ft tall by the end of its first growing season.
for ornamental appeal, I like the weeping type or corkscrew ones. For winter ornamental appeal, the golden stemmed ones are some of the best looking trees