Silky Willow The Black Willow (Salix nigra) is a native tree to North America. The maximum height of this tree can reach 148ft but they are most commonly found at heights ranging from 30-70ft. Their mature height is 100ft. The width of a mature tree can range be as large as 4ft. The nickname of the Black Willow is swamp willow and is mainly found in the eastern United States and in the mid-western states as well. Since this tree needs a constant or well established source of water it grows best along the Gulf coast, the Atlantic Coast and all along the Mississippi River valley area and can be found all the way to Canada.
As previously stated, these trees need a lot of water to maintain healthy growth. They do best in soils heavy with moisture and with a good source of sunlight. These trees have a large and complex root system which often helps steady the land to keep river bank erosions at a minimum. For this reason, Black Willows are the perfect tree to plant on land that is near water and constantly wet.
The Silky Willow Tree Loves Water
A Black Willow usually will not start producing seeds until about 10 years old. These seeds can grow very quickly when the soil and sun exposure are best. These trees grow the most during the springtime and that is also when they are most likely to bloom and produce seeds.
When there is a good source of water and plentiful sunlight these trees will grow fast, and large. The branches to not hang down, but rather grow up and out. When the trees are larger they will provide nice shady spots. Because these trees are native to swampy, wet regions they are able to withstand floods and can continue to grow after an area has flooded. They are also able to adapt to changes in soil. Neither special minerals nor a certain amount of nitrogen are needed to grow these trees.
Black Willows are also very resistant when it comes to insect damage. Few insects have the ability to kill the tree, most will cause minor deformities but growth will continue. When severely damaged, these trees decompose quickly which makes more room for new, fast growing seedlings. Also, because the seedlings to grow at a rapid pace in prime conditions, this tree is easy to grow from clippings of live trees.
The branches from this tree are easy to bend and are good to build with because they do not splinter easily. Being so hard to splinter makes these branches perfect for constructing crates and other wooden utensils or knickknacks. Before modern times, branches of trees were also used to make artificial limbs for people. The bark when ingested by way of a tea or even by chewing on it provides one with natural pain relief due to the amount of salicin or salicylic acid that it holds.