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Wellington Fields Allotments - Hixon.


Plough Field Allotments at Amerton

Gardening Tips
By Mrs FM

Unusual & Old
Fashioned Fruit

Herbs & Other
Edible Plants.

Environmental Issues And Going Green.

Vines And Other Climbing Plants.

Fish Ponds

Books By
Alan J Hartley



Tree Project.

Willow – Salix Contorta.

There are many varieties of Willows from large growing specimens that can reach 25m and more to Dwarf specimens that only grow a few feet and weeping varieties that may be grafted to again restrict their height. Some are more suited to back gardens than others, but even larger growing specimens can be Coppiced to keep their height under control. This is where the main Trunk is cut down to just above ground level thereby encouraging the tree to throw out lots of straight, but thin and quick growing stems that are ideal for weaving. They may be used to make the traditional baskets, trays and animals, or the thicker ones can be used to make old fashioned fencing Hurdles. The bare “Twisted,” or “Contorted,” Willow stems are also much favoured by Flower arrangers.

In recent years, forever on the look out for new ways to sell plants, commercial Growers have taken the idea of Weaving Willow Stems to a new level and now produce miniature, woven and living architectural sculptures as seen in the picture. Larger, living Stems, are also often used to make garden sized pieces of decoration.
Willows originate from China. But can now be found growing everywhere because of their usefulness and versatility. They do have a problem and that is their roots are particularly invasive seeking out water and running up to 100 feet or so.
Being one of the few trees that copes quite happily with water logged ground though, they can be grown for harvesting where other trees cannot. The wood of Willows is a lightweight, Hardwood that is not the strongest of timber, but very useful in making small pieces of furniture and has traditionally been used to make Cricket Bats. However, Willows are also relatively short lived trees generally surviving for only 50 years or so. Their narrow and deciduous leaves, along with their attractive Catkins, that are again often cut for Flower arrangements and ever popular with Children, add to the popularity of the Willow. Traditionally, Willows were also used as a natural source of Salicin which is natures very own Aspirin.
Willows may not produce Fruit for Wildlife to eat, but the Leaves are a firm favourite with Rabbits and Deer.



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