Basket Willows often are an overlooked item to include on one’s homestead, yet the Joybilee Farm explains 10 reasons it needs to be included:
1. Willows are carbon sequesters.
Willows are fast growing trees from the poplar family. They absorb carbon from the air into their leaves and then store the carbon in their root zones. Even when willows are burned for fuel, the amount of carbon that they release is less than what they take in during the growing season. This makes them the ideal plant to grow as a break between your organic garden and the road. In fact, in some cities, basket willow varieties are being used as a buffer between highways and residential areas, to reduce both air pollution and noise pollution.
2. Willows help to filter toxic waste and purify the soil.
Willows are also grown in areas where the soil is polluted from toxic waste spills or where gasoline is being off-gassed into neighboring properties or water tables. Willows help to purify the soil. (don’t use the bark of these trees for medicinal purposes, though).
3. Basket willows are fast growing.
Basket willows are special species of willow that have been grown for centuries specifically for basket weaving and farm use. The stems are flexible and can be bent at a 90 degree angle without breaking, when they are green. They grow straight, without branching in their first year growth. Basket willows will grow 4 to 8 feet per year, when coppiced annually in the Spring.
Click the link below to learn the seven other reasons why Basket Willow is a must-have for any homestead.