How the goat willow is grown

How the Goat willow is grown

The Goat willow or pussy willow or great sallow (Salix caprea L., 1753) is a plant of the Salicaceae family widespread in a vast area ranging from Europe to Japan.
In Italy it is present in all regions, except in Sardinia, from sea level to the subalpine belt. It is a pioneer species that colonizes the edges of the woods. It lives mainly in the hills and mountains, but is also found in the plains.
It is a dioecious plant with male inflorescences in ovoid catkins of about 4 cm, covered with silvery hairs before flowering and with yellow stamens; female inflorescences are similar but larger; blooms in March-May. The fruit is a small, smooth, sessile, conical-elongated capsule.

Cultivation –
For the cultivation of the Goat willow, it should be borne in mind that it is a plant that adapts well to different types of soil, as long as it is not asphyxiated and tolerates a certain summer dryness well.
As for other willows, it is a plant that needs a lot of water so its substrate must never dry out. It is a species that grows best in a sunny spot in the partial shade of the garden, with normal soil and also has good resistance to cold.
The optimal planting period for this species is spring and autumn. Before planting, a hole must be made that must be twice as wide and deep as the root ball. Once the pot has been eliminated and the plant inserted in the hole, it must be filled with earth, taking care to press well, to contact the ground, and watering abundantly.
Salix caprea is relatively easy to care for. In spring it is advisable to use slow-release fertilizers, preferably organic. The irrigation shifts should not be frequent but abundant to allow the irrigation water to penetrate deeply. After flowering, pruning must be carried out to remove all damaged or dry branches.

Uses –
The Goat willow is a plant that has been used as a pioneering species in environmental renaturalization interventions. Like other willows, its bark also contains salicin, used in the pharmaceutical industry.

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