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  #1  
Old 08/23/06, 09:44 AM
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Indiana
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Willow Wood??

Hi Y'all,

We got this beautiful little place 3 years ago. We love it out here.
As part of the Ongoing Project, of further Beautifying and making it
more usable, I'm cleaning a lot of trees, some of them big trees, from
around the pond. And, of course to make it easier to fish. I've had
to clear out areas before you could cast a line, into the water. And,
the fishing is great.

Here's the questions............
Is Willow Wood good for anything?
Will it make adequate firewood, after it has dried sufficiently?
Would it last, if it was used to build things with?
Could I even Carve it?

It appears rather soft & light when dry. Can I used it for Anything,
useful?
Or, should I use it for filling up ditches?
Is it even good for that? Would it rot out too quickly?

Thanks, for any answers you can give me.
I've got some trees that are 12 to 16" in diameter.
I hate to just put it in a pile & burn it all up.
Waste Not, Want Not!

Thanks again..............

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Last edited by Old John; 08/23/06 at 09:46 AM. Reason: Spelling
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  #2  
Old 08/23/06, 10:08 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Vancouver, and Moberly Lake, BC, Canada
Posts: 833
Lots of use

  • Bean and pea poles (1" to 2" with little branches at the top -- works great) using the dry poles
  • all kinds of furniture from the not-dry smaller pieces, 'easy' to bend and work into shape, apparently (I have thought about Willow and Poplar furniture -- other things I want to do first)
  • firewood ok
  • carving good
  • the Red-Willow bases and roots when removed, dried, ground, sanded, and highly varnished are interesting, have seen them up here as an underside of a landing with 1" thick glass on top so you could see the Willow as you went up the strairs, in a 55,000 ft2, $13,000,000 log house (construction cost only of the logs)
  • Same big-log-cabin contractor used Red-Willow brnaches, ground, sanded and varnished as the uprights for the long winding stair rails
  • Big clumpy Willows in wet areas are bad, worse in the field, and they grow from the smallest piece of root or branch
  • the bark is a natural rooting agent, use for transplanting in a mixture
  • Isn't asprin or something like it in Willow root or bark also?

Willows are bad when you don't want them.

Try to Enjoy them,

Alex
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  #3  
Old 08/23/06, 10:28 AM
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Location: Pennsylvania
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like any wood it will burn. it doesn't last very long and makes a good bit of ash. i have some huge trunks that fell over and will not die, lol. i would love to give them away.

i think they would be good for carving. i wish i knew a carver who wanted some big stuff.

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  #4  
Old 08/23/06, 10:34 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: IA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex
  • Isn't asprin or something like it in Willow root or bark also?
Alex
Yes, I've heard weeping willow bark has the components in it for pain relief.
You can also use willow branches for fishing poles, I'm told.

I'd make sure I left one or two weeping willows on the property. I've heard you can cut off a branch, stick it into the ground and it will root before long.
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  #5  
Old 08/23/06, 10:45 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Asprin comes from willow bark. I agree on the firewood- does spark some also. Bean poles and willow furniture about it for uses. Asprin is so cheap why boil the bark, chew it etc?

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  #6  
Old 08/23/06, 11:09 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: massey ont
Posts: 748
willow

google.."willow walking stick" and you can see how nice they r polished up
Gord in BC

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  #7  
Old 08/23/06, 11:13 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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seen some nice beds and chairs that the amish made from willow.

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  #8  
Old 08/23/06, 11:43 AM
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We use the larger trunks as firewood. The smaller trunks and limbs are used in the garden for bean poles, fencing, etc.

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  #9  
Old 08/23/06, 12:49 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: WV
Posts: 521

Willows? Cut 'em down and burn every one of 'em.
Me and my cousins had our -----e$ whipped with a willow switch so many times as kids I can't stand the site of 'em.
Burn 'em I say!!!!

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  #10  
Old 08/23/06, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highground
Willows? Cut 'em down and burn every one of 'em.
Me and my cousins had our -----e$ whipped with a willow switch so many times as kids I can't stand the site of 'em.
Burn 'em I say!!!!

ROFL!
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  #11  
Old 08/23/06, 12:54 PM
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Willow makes great charcoal for making back powder and rockets.
the charcoal sells for $3-5 a pound .
makes decent rustic chairs too.

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  #12  
Old 08/25/06, 11:06 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: IA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highground
Willows? Cut 'em down and burn every one of 'em.
Me and my cousins had our -----e$ whipped with a willow switch so many times as kids I can't stand the site of 'em.
Burn 'em I say!!!!
ROFL - boy do I remember that!
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  #13  
Old 08/25/06, 12:15 PM
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It can be used for making baskets (the thin branches). And in England willow was one of the trees that used to be coppiced (cut off and let grow back into a bushy head of whips). The coppiced wood had all kinds of uses: firewood (and charcoal as someone mentioned); baskets; portable fencing called hurdles; the wattles for wattle and daub housing; livestock feed (goats love it); bee skeps; all kind of things.

Kathleen

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  #14  
Old 08/25/06, 12:23 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: north florida
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charcoal made from willow wood is the preferred kind of charcoal for making black powder. the foxfire books say it is best because it has the smallest portion of ash content.

pax
t.f.

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  #15  
Old 08/25/06, 01:36 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Louisiana
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If your trees are big enough....

It makes georgeous interior paneling. Cut the boards a bit oversize, kiln dry or air dry 1 yr/inch thickness. Run 'em through a planar and cut a rabet on the sides for a nice tight fit, although you'll probably want a small piece to act as a "batten".

The natural wood has nice green streaks that can be clear poly'ed or a bit of thin green stain can really "pop" them out.

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  #16  
Old 08/25/06, 05:58 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Western MA
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Willow charcoal was also used for the "chalk" in early chalk lines becuase it was easy to grind into a powder. May also be why it was used for gunpowder.

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  #17  
Old 08/25/06, 06:09 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NC
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White willow (Salix albae) is the variety rich in natural aspirin. Do a quick search on Google and you can see the price medicinal willow bark brings... Weeping willows are a different genus and are not used for medicinal purposes. There is a variety of white willow whose branches turn bright red in the fall - very ornamental and very useful for baskets, crafts, charcoal, and pain relief... Willow is, as many others have mentioned, excellent for woodwork and furniture, paneling, and switches...
Silvergirl

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  #18  
Old 08/25/06, 06:43 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 231

i don't care for willow....don't think it is worth much effort. not terribly attractive or stable for furniture. burns, but not well and little btu's. i have a large pile rotting away here right now...and i heat with wood.............

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  #19  
Old 07/26/13, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toomb68 View Post
i don't care for willow....don't think it is worth much effort. not terribly attractive or stable for furniture. burns, but not well and little btu's. i have a large pile rotting away here right now...and i heat with wood.............
While I would never go to the effort of cutting one down for firewood, If one fell down and was easy to cut up with little effort I wouldn't waste it.

I keep my junk wood separate from the high BTU wood, and burn it at the first of the season when I'm not too worried about coals making it thru the night etc.

Also the kids and grand kids like to have bonfires sometimes and do the marshmallow on a stick thing. Junk wood is good for this.
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  #20  
Old 07/26/13, 05:16 AM
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Also this is a very interesting article on the uses of willow in furniture making in Chile.

http://www.fao.org/docrep/008/a0026e/a0026e10.htm

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  #21  
Old 07/26/13, 09:25 AM
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We have two large weeping willows and one corkscrew willow on our property. Like others have said, you can easily root them to grow more. They can have invasive root systems and prefer wetter areas.

In some types of willows, salicilic acid (used in astringents and anti-acne face wash) can be found in the bark/branches.

My chicken coops benefit from our weeping willows and keep them shaded. The chickens also pick off the leaves from the low-hanging branches.

Everytime we get a good storm with lots of wind there are about 1,000,000 willow branches on the ground which is a pain to clean up all the time. Maybe I should make a few baskets.

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  #22  
Old 07/26/13, 10:04 AM
Brenda Groth
 
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even cut and dried for a year, buried willow can resprout into a full size tree..

my dad cut my mom a branch to use to hold up the center of her clothesline before I was born, over the winter it sat against the clothesline posts..and in the spring it had sprouted and grew into a tree that 62 years old is still standing and huge..willow roots will invade septic and well systems.
a wood chip can sprout

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  #23  
Old 07/26/13, 10:19 AM
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While some of the branches are good for crafts, and the thin branches are often used for the modern day version of the Biblical "rod" , the wood isn't worth much. A round fresh cut out of a willow log will weigh almost as much as oak, but it is mostly water. Upon drying it will be much closer to balsa in weight. It is not worth cutting for firewood, unless you are really hurting. The gas and wear and tear on your chainsaw will be worth more than the heat produced. Even if you decide to burn it in a pile, you probably need to let it sit for a good while after you cut it to let some of the water evaporate.

I do remember a urban legend that it makes baseball bats so good that it was banned from the game. It seems unlikely, but I have no idea of the truth. It is used to make cricket bats.

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  #24  
Old 07/26/13, 04:08 PM
 
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There was a factory in my home town (before I was born) that used woven willow to make baby carriages. The small branches can be worked similarly to rattan.

Edited to add: I just remembered that my artist's charcoal sticks are from willow. Just completely carbonized 9" sections of 3/8" diameter willow branches.

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  #25  
Old 07/27/13, 10:19 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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I love willows. Have hundreds of them. They are one of the first ones to break out in pollen in early spring. Fills my bee hives with a beautiful clear honey very early in the year. Haven't tried one for firewood, but they seem like such an useful tree.

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Old 07/27/13, 11:18 AM
 
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A friend has a modern hand-built viola with a willow back. I have not seen it yet. If you want to construct anything, say garden arbors made of willow, do so while the wood is green. Anything is an OK firewood as long as it doesn't stink when burning. You have to cut & split, but it's still "free" compared to any delivered wood.

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  #27  
Old 07/27/13, 11:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex View Post
  • Bean and pea poles (1" to 2" with little branches at the top -- works great) using the dry poles
Alex
But be warned, make sure they're dry poles. Otherwise, they'll take root. Don't ask how I know this.
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  #28  
Old 07/28/13, 02:58 PM
 
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You can use willow to dry out a wet area in a lawn. Just plant one and watch it suck up all the water around it. The thin branches are good for basketry and making hurdles (portable woven fence sections). As noted, it's pretty marginal as firewood. Homesteading author Nancy Bubel told how her husband used stacked willow rounds to make a rough and ready garage.

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  #29  
Old 07/28/13, 04:45 PM
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if you do a search for willow cellular structure you will find it must be laid on the ground (either top up hill or top down hill) to let the water leave the tree .I've done this with both willow and sycamore but don't remember which one goes which way.Once they are dry they burn quite well.

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