The incredibly useful tree

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The best specimen of willow (Salix spp.) on the Farm would be the living yurt positioned on the grass road entrance by the wildlife pond. As demonstrated by the willow yurt, the young stems are very flexible and are therefore used in basket making as well as building material for living structures. Tree sized willows may be used for lumber but as the wood is not typically strong, it is often used for boxes and other wooden products that do not require a great deal of strength. Since willows are so fast-growing, it may become a viable source of renewable energy as plantations are cultivated for use as a biomass fuel.

Also due to their fast-growing nature and easy propagation, willow is often used to vegetate stream banks to prevent erosion and to re-vegetate disturbed lands. Willow is also famously the original source of salicylic acid (precursor of aspirin) and has been used for thousands of years to relieve joint pain and manage fevers. Willow is useful to species other than humans as willow blossoms proffer a great service in the spring months by providing an early source of nectar and pollen for foraging bees and branches provide tasty roughage for goats, donkeys, rabbits, and guinea pigs.

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