Willow (Salix sp)
Willows, a large and varied group of plants, grow as trees, shrubs or groundcovers. They all share the virtues of graceful, flexible branches, interesting growth habits, and multi-seasonal ornamental interest. They are all deciduous, losing their leaves in the fall. Some offer colorful fall foliage or colored twigs that provide winter interest. There are essentially two groups of trees in the willow family. Some species, called "weepers", have long pendulous branches. The others are the contorted group with limbs that are crooked and angled and look great in flower arrangements. Both groups offer welcome early spring foliage or fuzzy fruits. While willows are not long lived, they are beautiful and easily grown. Lasting about 12 to 15 years, the willow trees will grow rapidly and mature early.
While Willow wood is not worth much, the bark is interesting. In pioneer times, folks would chew on willow bark to relieve pain, not knowing that it worked because the bark is rich in salicylic acid, the substance from which aspirin is derived.