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Willow Trees | Salix Tree

Ornamental Tree Nurseries have a great choice of Willow (Salix) trees for planting in gardens and larger planting schemes. The Salix tree comes in a range of forms, from large weeping willow trees to dwarf varieties, perfect for growing in pots or containers. Popular for their fluffy catkins, more unusual varieties also boast twisting branches or colourful foliage. Willow trees come in all different colours of bark, including purple, red, orange, yellow or green.

The Salix tree grows well in slightly damp or wet sites and some varieties will tolerate drought. The Latin name Salix is derived from the Celtic 'sal' meaning near and 'lis' meaning water as they are often found near water.

 

The use of the Salix tree in manufacturing

  • Fishing nets made from willow branches have been found to date back to 8300 BC
  • Willow has also been used to make baskets, fish traps, fences, brooms and cricket bats. Paper, rope and string can also be produced from the wood
  • Thinned willow rods can be woven into wicker. Unlike other woods, willow is highly pliable so it is less likely to split when woven 

 

Medicinal uses of the Salix tree

  • Hippocrates wrote about the medicinal properties of Willow in 5th century BC
  • Ancient Egyptians used the leaves and bark to treat fevers and aches
  • Native Americans relied heavily on the medicinal properties of Willow 

 

Other uses of the Salix tree

  • All varieties of the Salix tree are beneficial to wildlife, with the catkins producing an early source of nectar and pollen for bees
  • The catkins can be cooked and mashed as a food source for survival purposes
  • Willow is one of the four species used in the Jewish holiday of Sukkot 

 

The Salix tree throughout culture

In Japan, Willow trees are a sign of ghosts and it is believed that wherever Willow trees grow, ghosts will appear. In English folklore they are also thought of as sinister with stories telling of willow trees uprooting themselves and stalking travellers. 

There are many common names for the salix tree, including: pussy willow, goat willow and dwarf willow. 

For our full range of weeping ornamental trees, click here.

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