Species: Goat Willow (Salix caprea)

Family: Willows (SALICACEAE)

Category: Flowering Plants

Location: NW

A. Flowering Plants

More extensive information on flowering plants can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Willows (SALICACEAE)

Willows are a valuable resource owing to their fast growth, abundant new shoots (withies), and supple texture. Pollarding, the severe pruning at the crown, promotes new growth and extends the life of the tree. Pollarding is done on rotation every 2 - 15 years as required.

C. Goat Willow (Salix caprea)

The leaves of this native tree are oval with a pointed tip. In bud in March it is known as pussy willow, or palm, and flowers before the leaves open. This tree once provided fodder for goats, including the bark. The wood was used to make clothes pegs (bound by tin strips) and tally sticks.

Images

Goat Willow

The leaves of Goat Willow, native British tree, are oval with a pointed tip. In bud in March it is known as pussy willow, or palm, and flowers before the leaves open.

Goat Willow

This tree once provided fodder for goats, including the bark, hence the name.

Goat Willow

Willows in general are a valuable resource owing to their fast growth, abundant new shoots (withies), and supple texture.

Goat Willow

Pollarding, the severe pruning at the crown, can promote new growth and extends the life of the willows.

Goat Willow

Goat Willows are dioecious: the male and female flowers are specific to individual trees. In this photograph, the male catkins ripen with a yellow pollen while many of the leaves are yet to be more than just buds.

Goat Willow

The female catkins of Goat Willow trees are greener than the male equivalents. They develop into woolly seeds. Bumblebees love both sexes of the catkins, gathering the pollen with enthusiasm as one of the first foods of Spring.