White willow refers to an ornamental garden and park tree. Named among the people at the same time as a symbol of sadness and beauty, due to the presence of useful substances, it has effective healing properties.
- Description of the species
- Growing features
- Proper care of willow
- Application in traditional medicine
Description of the species
White willow is popularly called silvery, willow or willow, and belongs to the willow family. The distribution area of the species occupies the middle zone of the European part of Russia. Frost-resistant culture tolerates a harsh climate with temperatures up to minus 35 degrees. The tent-like shape of trees very often takes on a spreading shape. Reaches a height of 20 to 30 meters.
The powerful trunk, sometimes bifurcated, is covered with fissured dark gray bark. Shoots of a young tree are olive-green or red-brown in color, silvery at the ends. Mature trees have yellow or reddish-brown, bare-looking shoots. Lanceolate buds of a flattened sharp shape, red-yellow color up to 6 mm. Leaves with pointed tops, 5 to 15 cm long.
During blooming, they are green, silky-silky - on the back. In the autumn, the leaves change color to a yellow-bronze color.
When the wind blows, the willow leaves turn their back side, giving the tree a white color. Flowering occurs in the month of April and May. Small greenish-yellow flowers unite in earring clusters and reach a length of 3-5 cm. Small, capsule-shaped fruits ripen from the end of May, and after a month the seeds are spread by the wind over long distances.
A well-developed root system of lateral roots goes deep into the ground up to 3 meters. In nature, white willow can grow for over 100 years. The characteristic of the species with high longevity rates classifies the culture as one of the most worthy representatives of the willow family.
An unpretentious plant in nature is found almost everywhere. The choice of a willow planting site is determined based on the characteristics of the terrain. Willow is not particularly demanding on the soil, it can grow in any area, even on crushed stone. However, the most optimal for it are sandy-silty sediments.
It mainly grows in damp places, located near rivers, lakes, reservoirs, ditches, on the edges of damp forests. It also gets along well in urban settings. Good illumination, sun and light partial shade help trees to thrive and grow. Places near groundwater are recommended for planting willows.
The time for planting is chosen in the spring before the budding, or in the autumn - after leaf fall. Seedlings are selected one year old with developed roots, without defects and dry shoots.
- A hole is dug, the diameter and depth of the same size - 50 cm
- A nutritious mixture of peat, compost and soil is poured into the bottom, with the addition of 200 grams of azophoska. For heavy soil, especially clayey, drainage is introduced with a layer of 10-15 cm from crushed stone or sand
- A seedling is lowered into the middle of the pit and covered with soil with an even distribution of roots
- The soil around the tree is compacted and watered at the rate of 2 buckets of water per 1 seedling
- Mulching is carried out with sawdust or tree chips
Proper care of willow
The full development of the willow depends on quality and regular care. Trees in the first period after planting require special attention and the implementation of all basic growing procedures. Moisture-loving willow is demanding for frequent watering and periodic spraying. Watering the plants after planting is carried out once a week in the morning or in the evening. From 2 to 4 buckets of water are poured onto the crown or under the root of the seedling.
In dry times, the procedure should be doubled, with constant spraying of the crown of the seedlings. Young seedlings in the early years grow in height from 1 to 3 meters. Top dressing helps to preserve the decorative qualities of the willow and saturates the soil with useful nutrients, which lead to abundant flowering. Complex fertilizers are applied after a little loosening throughout the season.
For 1 season, 2-3 dressings are carried out, the last one should be done in the month of July. From mid-August, potassium sulfate and superphosphate are added to the soil. Fallen leaves, due to the content of tannins in it, should not be left under the tree. The formation of the crown is carried out in order to give the plants a beautiful decorative appearance, as well as for sanitization.
The first pruning after 2-3 years is done when shoots reach a length of 1 meter. The procedure begins after flowering trees. The shoots are shortened above the nearest bud by 20 cm. Annual cutting of adult trees is to maintain the shape of the crown.
White willow on video:
Shortening branches by pruning promotes the formation of lateral shoots from the remaining buds, giving the crown a special splendor and density. The correct planting technology helps the willow grow quickly and please with a beautiful appearance. The implementation of all maintenance procedures, including timely pruning, contributes to the maintenance of the original decorativeness of the trees.
Application in traditional medicine
All parts of the plant are used in folk medicine. With the help of infusions, skin growths are perfectly removed and wounds heal quickly.
The medicinal properties of white willow help:
- relieve pain in trauma
- lower fever
- reduce inflammation in the joints, airways, intestines
- anesthetize the critical period of the menstrual cycle
- weight loss, normalizing carbohydrate metabolism
- relieve puffiness with insect bites
- improve microcirculation of capillaries
- rejuvenate and improve skin condition
- stimulate cerebral circulation
- relieve acute headache and migraine by lowering blood pressure
White willow has an antibiotic effect due to the presence of salicin, a plant alkaloid. A useful arsenal of active biological substances of the plant is widely used for medicinal purposes.