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Willow

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WILLOW Salix The willows grow in many places on both hemispheres. North Americans value the fast-growing, characteristically shaped trees; while Europeans value the woods. The principal experience with the wood of the Willow has been gained in Europe. The wood is light, tough, easily worked, and elastic. It resists splintering, stands well against abrasion, and in Europe is used for friction-brake linings, lapboards, cricket bats, keels and paddles. Willow charcoal ignites readily and for this reason is used in gunpowder. Willow rods are used in basket-making.' In the United States Willow trees are used to protect and some times, by creating eddies, to recover land from water encroach ment. Saplings up to three or four inches in diameter are used in river improvements. These saplings are made into mattresses which are placed along the banks of streams to prevent scour. Some of the mattresses thus constructed for Mississippi River improvement work are three hundred feet wide and one thousand feet Saplings are known as "Osiers" and are regularly cultivated in Europe.

The term Osier Willow is sometimes applied to trees that yield strong, slender shoots. The true Osier, Sandbar, or Longleaf Willow (Salix fluviatilis) grows in many places from the Arctic Ocean southward to Mexico. The White, Crack, Bedford, and Goat Willows (Salix alba, Salix fragilis, Salix russeliana, and Salix caprea) are said to afford good woods.

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