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the plum. All the shrubby species are interesting or beautiful when planted singly, and allowed to take their natural shapes; but, unless planted very thinly and allowed to grow old and round-headed, they do not mass well together. They are therefore well adapted for the arboretum, and for indicating water, or moist situations, but not for general use in ornamental plantations. Whereever willows are planted for the beauty of their blossoms, the male plant should be chosen; because the colour and effect are produced chiefly by the anthers. Willows in general, Gilpin observes, are trees of a straggling ramification, and but ill adapted for use in artificial landscape; " except as pollards to characterise a marshy country; or to mark, in a second distance, the winding banks of a heavy, low, sunk river; which could not otherwise be noticed." Some species, he says, he has admired; and he particularises the S. álba, as having a" pleasant, light, sea-green tint, which mixes agreeably with foliage of a deeper hue." By far the most beautiful willow, when in flower, is S. càprea, the catkins of which are not only larger than those of every other species, but produced in greater abundance. Hence the great beauty of this willow in early spring, and its importance as furnishing food to bees. "It is in flower," says Dr. Walker, speaking with reference to the climate of Edinburgh, "between the 15th of March and the 8th of April. During this time, whenever the thermometer is at or about 42° in the shade, accompanied with sunshine, the bees come abroad. This is a temperature which often occurs; and, if bees have an opportunity, during that interval, of feeding three or four days upon this willow, the hive will be preserved, when, without this, it would probably perish."

As a curious use of the willow, it is mentioned in the Nouveau Du Hamel, that the roots are more readily changed into branches, and the branches into roots, than in any other species of a tree. All that is necessary is, to take up a plant, and bury the whole of the branches in the soil, leaving the whole of the roots above ground. Poiret, the writer of the article, says he saw this done, in the neighbourhood of Marseilles, with a great number of plants of S. álba; that the larger twisted roots became the principal branches, and preserved their general forms; but that the young shoots produced by these took the forms and appearances common to the species in its natural state.

Poetical and legendary Allusions. The willow does not appear to have been celebrated by any of the Greek poets, nor by any of the Latins, before the Augustan age. Herodotus, however, speaks of the willow divining-rods of the ancient Scythians; and the use of the willow in basketwork, &c., is mentioned by many of the Latin prose writers. Martial alludes to the baskets (bascauda) made of willow twigs by the ancient Britons.

"Barbara de pictis veni bascauda Britannis:

Sed me jam mavult dicere Roma suam.”

"From Britain's painted sons I came,
And Basket is my barbarous name:
But now I am so modish grown,

That Rome would claim me for her own."

The druids are said to have formed huge figures of wickerwork, which, on great occasions, were filled with criminals, and set fire to (see Sat. Mag., vol. i. p. 74.): but these baskets, according to Burnet and others, were formed of the twigs of the oak, and not the willow. Virgil, Lucan, and many other of the Latin poets, speak of the boats, shields, and other articles formed, both by the Britons and Romans, from the twigs and branches of this


"The bending willow into barks they twine,

Then line the work with spoils of slaughter'd kine."

Rowe's Lucan, book iv.

Ovid gives a very good description of the situation in which willows generally grow:

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Among the British poets who have sung this plant, most have alluded to the willow being considered the emblem of despairing love. Herrick says,

and Spenser calls the tree

"A willow garland thou didst send
Perfumed last day to me;
Which did but only this portend,
I was forsook by thee.

Since so it is, I'll tell thee what,
To-morrow thou shalt see
Me wear the willow, after that
To die upon the tree:"

"The willow, worn by forlorn paramour."

Shakspeare thus represents Dido lamenting the loss of Æneas : —

"In such a night

Stood Dido, with a willow in her hand,

Upon the wild sea banks, and waved her love
To come again to Carthage,"

and, again, in relating the death of Ophelia,—

Cowper says,

"There is a willow grows ascaunt the brook

That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream.
Therewith fantastic garlands did she make,
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies and long purples.
There on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook."

"We pass a gulf in which the willows dip

Their pendent boughs, stooping as if to drink."

The allusions to this tree by modern poets are still more numerous; but, as they are too many to be all quoted, and as most of them are, besides, very well known, we shall content ourselves with the following:

"Odours abroad the winds of morning breathe,

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And, fresh with dew, the herbage sprang beneath :
Down from the hills that gently sloped away

To the broad river shining into day

They pass'd; along the brink the path they kept,
Where high aloof o'erarching willows wept,
Whose silvery foliage glisten'd in the beam,

And floating shadows fringed the chequer'd stream."


The quotation from Lord Byron, given below, refers to the weeping willow, and to the beautiful passage, hereafter quoted, when speaking of Salix babylónica, from the Psalms of David.

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The legendary origin of the weeping willow, according to the Arabian storytellers, is as follows. "They say that, after David had married Bathsheba, he was one day playing on his harp in his private chamber, when he found two strangers opposite to him, though he had given strict orders that no one should intrude upon his privacy. These strangers were angels, who made him convict himself of his crime, nearly in the same manner as it is related in Holy Writ. David then recognised in the strangers the angels of the Lord, and was sensible of the heinousness of his offence. Forthwith he threw himself upon the floor, and shed tears of bitter repentance. There he lay for forty days and forty nights upon his face, weeping and trembling before the judgment of the Lord. As many tears of repentance as the whole human race have shed, and will shed on account of their sins, from the time of David till the judgment-day, so many did David weep in those forty days, all the while moaning forth psalms of penitence. The tears from his eyes formed two streams, which ran from the

closet into the anteroom, and thence into the garden. Where they sank into the ground, there sprang up two trees, the weeping willow, and the frankincense tree: the first weeps and mourns, and the second is incessantly shedding big tears, in memory of the sincere repentance of David." (Language of Flowers, p. 39.) The branches of one of the weeping willows on the banks of the Euphrates are said to have caught the crown from the head of Alexander the Great, when he passed under the tree in a boat on that river; a circumstance which made the Babylonish diviners predict his early death.

Soil and Situation. Almost all the willows are found naturally either in a cold soil and moist climate, or, if in a sandy soil, within reach of water. The low-growing kinds are sometimes, however, found in dry arid soils; but in such soils they are never in a thriving state. Willows are very seldom found growing on moist peat bogs; the only species observed in such situations by Steele being the S. càprea and the S. pentandra, and these only sparingly in peat bog that was dry. (See Steele's History of Peat Moss, p. 4.) This author tried the S. álba, S. frágilis, S. viminàlis, and, in general, all the largest and best willows, in every possible way, in peat soils; and states that he is "satisfied that they will not grow there, even on the sides of moss (peat bog) ditches." (Steele in Gard. Mag., vol. iii. p. 256.) It will be recollected that the moss here spoken of consists entirely of peat, without any admixture of earthy matter; and is totally different from the heath mould, which, in the neighbourhood of London, is often improperly called peat. It is observed by Desfontaines, that willows, taken from the Alps, and planted in gardens, so completely change their character and general aspect, as not to be recognisable for the same species. Narrow leaves become broad; those which are shaggy and woolly, often smooth and shining; and plants only 1 ft. or 2 ft. high attain the height of two or three yards. It has also been observed, that the wood of willows, whether that of the trunks and branches, or of the young shoots, is smaller, harder, tougher, and more compact and durable, than that of willows grown in rich moist soils. In dry soils, also, the growth of the plant is much slower than in moist ones. From these data, it may reasonably be deduced, that, when the object of growing willows is to preserve the forms which they have in their natural habitats, these habitats should be imitated as much as possible; and that, on the contrary, when the object is to ascertain what are species, and what only varieties, the soil and situation should be uniform for all the sorts, of a richer quality, and of a description more favourable for rapid growth, than what occurs to the average number of sorts in a state of nature. Where bulky produce, either in timber, branches, rods, or twigs, is the object, the soil ought to be good, and the situation and other circumstances favourable to rapid growth. The best situation, when the object is free and rapid growth, is on the sides of rivers and brooks which pass through a level country. In such situations, the timber producing kinds attain a larger size than in any other; and larger hoops and basket-rods are there also produced: but both kinds of produce may also be obtained in dry upland soils, that are deep and free; and the wood from such soils will be of a finer grain, and the hoops and basket-rods smaller and tougher, than when the growth has been impelled by an extraordinary supply of water. The best tree willow for thriving in dry uplands is the S. álba; and the best basket willow is the grey or brindled willow, first recommended by Phillips of Ely, under that name.

Propagation. All the willows are propagated by cuttings; though some of the more rare alpine kinds root with difficulty. Some species propagate very readily from seeds; and there can be little doubt that grafting, and other similar modes of propagation, would be as successful in this genus as in most others. The cuttings for plants which are to be grown in nurseries previously to their removal to their final situation may be made of one-year-old wood, about 1 ft. in length, cut straight across at the lower end, and sloping at the upper end. They may be about 1 ft. in length, 9 in. of which should

be inserted in the soil; the cutting being placed perpendicularly, and the soil pressed firmly to it, more especially at its lower extremity. The reason why the lower end of the cutting is cut directly across, and not sloping like the upper end, is, that it may form an equal callosity all round it, and, consequently, throw out an equal number of roots from that callosity on every side. The reason why the cutting is placed upright is, that the roots may be principally formed at its lower extremity; because that makes a handsomer and more symmetrical plant than when the roots are protruded partly from the lower end, and partly from the side. It is found from experience, that, when a cutting is put in in a sloping direction, roots are protruded nearly equally through all that part that is buried in the ground, unless the soil has been more closely pressed against one part than another; in which case the roots will there be protruded in greater abundance; and, if the soil has not been pressed to the lower extremity, it will probably produce no roots at all there, but rot. The upper extremity of the cutting is cut in a sloping direction, merely to throw off the rain. When willows are to be planted where they are finally to remain, cuttings may be made of the two-years-old wood, about 2 ft. long, and cut in a sloping direction at both ends. The advantages of choosing the two-years-old wood is, that the plants produced are more vigorous, which is not always desirable in plants that are to be transplanted, on account of their greater bulk, and the consequent expense of their removal. The cuttings of the two-years-old wood should be inserted in the ground, either by means of an iron-pointed dibber, or merely by being pushed in, at least 10 in. in length, and made firm by treading, They should be inserted in a slanting direction; in consequence of which, and also of being made firm during the whole length of the part buried in the soil, roots are protruded not only at the lower end, but throughout the whole length of the part which is in the ground. This mode of making cuttings, and of inserting them, is more particularly necessary when a plantation of willows is made in a grassy surface on the banks of rivers or streams. Cuttings of the smaller kinds of willows, and especially of those kinds which are somewhat difficult to strike, should be planted in a sandy soil, in a shady situation, and kept inoist. The few that are extremely difficult to strike should have their cuttings formed of the growing wood with the leaves on; and, after being planted in sand, they should be covered with a hand-glass. The best season for putting in cuttings of the winter's wood is the autumn, in consequence of which the buds swell during the winter, and are ready to grow with vigour in the spring; but in wet soil, and in climates where they are liable to be loosened by the frost in the winter season, cuttings planted in autumn ought to be made firm a second time in the spring.

The principal willow which propagates itself by seeds in Europe is the S. caprea, and its very numerous allied kinds. The seeds are small and black, and enveloped in a tuft of cottony matter. They are ripe in May, or early in June; and they are speedily dispersed by the wind. If they fall in soil moist and shaded from the sun, or if a heavy shower of rain happen soon afterwards, they will spring up in three weeks, and produce plants 3 in. or 4 in. high before the end of the season. In France, Bosc informs us, this kind of willow is sometimes raised from seed, in the government nurseries, for transplantation into the national forests; and all that it requires is, to be sown on an even surface, well watered, and very slightly covered with loose litter. We are not aware of the willow having ever been grafted, though we think very curious and beautiful plants might be formed by grafting the trailing sorts standard high, or by grafting a number of sorts on one tree. In some parts of England, seedling willows are collected in the indigenous woods by the country people, by whom they are sold to the local nurserymen, who grow them for one or two years, after which they are ready for planting in coppice-woods.

Culture. The first point to be attended to in the culture of any species of willow, no matter for what purpose, is, to determine whether the male or the

female plant is the more desirable kind for the object of the cultivator. There can be no doubt that the female of every species is the more vigorous-growing plant; and, consequently, where timber or coppice-wood, hoops, or rods for the larger kinds of basketwork, are the produce wanted, the female of the species to be cultivated ought to be preferred, however difficult it may be, in the present state of the nursery culture of willows, to procure plants the sex of which is known. On the other hand, as we have before observed, when tough, yet delicate, rods are required for basket-making, not only the finer-growing species, but the males of these species, ought to be selected. It ought also to be borne in mind, as a general principle, that willows, to be of any use, either as basket-rods, hoops, poles, or timber trees, must annually ripen their shoots; and that, in cold climates, this cannot be done where they are grown in soil which is abundantly supplied with water late in the season. Hence the colder the climate, the drier should be the soil; on account of the necessity of perfectly ripening the wood. In regard to general management, few ligneous plants require so little care as the willow, when cultivated as timber or coppice-wood; but considerable care is requisite where it is grown for hoops or rods for wickerwork.

Culture of Tree Willows. Willow groves, or plantations of the tree in masses for the production of timber, are best formed in low moist bottoms, which, however, must be drained in such a manner as that the soil may never become saturated with stagnant water. When planted in rows, or as single trees, the most eligible situation for the willow is along the high banks of rivers, brooks, or ditches. Some sorts, and especially S. álba and S. Russelliana, may also be planted in upland soil in masses; and S. càprea will succeed in cold, boggy, or marshy soil, if drained; but neither this nor any other kind of tree willow will produce timber in peat, gravel, sand, or chalk. When willows are intended to remain where they are first planted, and to grow up as trees, all that is necessary, at the end of the first year's growth, is to cut off all the shoots but the strongest one, which is left to become the stem of the future tree. The after-management of thinning, pruning, &c., differs in nothing from the ordinary routine culture of timber trees. In felling willow trees when the bark is an object, the trees may either be barked standing, in the month of May, and cut down in the August following; or cut down in May, and disbarked while lying on the ground.

Choice of Species for growing as Timber Trees. S. álba, which will attain the height of from 60 ft. to 80 ft. in 20 years. S. Russelliana and S. frágilis, which are frequently confounded; and, indeed, in external appearance differ very slightly from each other, except in size. S. Russelliana grows as rapidly, and to as great a height, as S. álba; but S. frágilis, though it grows with equal rapidity, does not attain so great a height. S càprea, and some of its allied kinds, grow as rapidly as S. frágilis for three or four years; and will attain nearly the same height as that species in the same time; that is, on good soil, from 30 ft. to 40 ft. in twenty years. According to Bosc, S. càprea is the most valuable of all the tree willows grown in France. Other willows, which attain a timber-like size, or about 30 ft. or 40 ft. in twenty years, are, S. triándra, S. rotundàta, S. lùcida, S. Meyeriana, S. præ'cox, S. Pontederana, S. acuminata, S. pentándra, S. vitellina, and S. amygdalina. Many, and perhaps most, of the other species, in good soil, if allowed sufficient room, and trained to a single stem, would attain the size and character of trees; but, with a view to timber, the four species first mentioned, viz. S. álba, S. Russelliana, S. frágilis, and S. càprea, are alone worth cultivating.

Culture of the Willow as Coppice-wood. The best sorts for this purpose are S. càprea and its allied kinds. Plants may either be raised from cuttings or from seeds, which are produced in great abundance. In the plantation, they may be placed at 4 ft. or 5 ft. apart every way; and afterwards thinned out as the stools increase in size. No other species of willow will produce such vigorous shoots in a bad soil; and in a good soil, after being cut over, shoots of one year may frequently be found from 10 ft. to 12 ft. in

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