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Willow Trees | Salix Tree

Salix are renowned for their beautiful forms, from graceful weeping willow trees to striking twisted willows. Salix trees are also popular for their fluffy catkins and variety of bark colours, including red, yellow and green. We offer compact dwarf Willows to statuesque tall Willows and everything in between, so no matter what size garden you have there is a perfectly proportioned Willow tree. They also benefit from coping well in damp or wet sites and some varieties will tolerate drought.

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

Willow Trees Throughout Culture

The Latin name Salix is derived from the Celtic 'sal' meaning near and 'lis' meaning water as they are often found near water. In Celtic faith, it is believed that because the Weeping Willow is so closely associated with water, it has connections with the moon: the Celts also believe that its wood increases psychic abilities.

Perhaps due to their magnificent and mystical beauty, Salix have taken on a variety of symbols in many cultures. In Japan, Willow trees are a sign of ghosts and it is believed that wherever Willow trees grow, ghosts will appear. They also symbolise death in Greek culture, yet ironically this species represents eternal life and overcoming adversity to other cultures, due to its ability to thrive in conditions where other species wouldn't.

In English folklore they are thought of as sinister with stories telling of willow trees uprooting themselves and stalking travellers. According to other mythology, Weeping Willow trees are associated with all that is feminine, as well as fertility and sexuality.

Willow is one of the four species used in the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

Uses Of Willow Trees

  • 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
  • The catkins can be cooked and mashed as a food source for survival purposes
  • The bark can be used to make tea which works as an anti-oxidant
  • All varieties of the Salix tree are beneficial to wildlife, with the catkins producing an early source of nectar and pollen for bees
  • Hippocrates wrote about the medicinal properties of Willow in 5th century BC and advised people to chew on it to reduce fever and inflammation; : the salicylic acid present is one of the main compounds found in modern-day Aspirin
  • Ancient Egyptians used the leaves and bark to treat fevers and aches
  • Native Americans relied heavily on the medicinal properties of Willow
Willow Trees | Salix Tree
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