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Trees (Native British)

46 47 Two main species of willow are known to be native to Britain. The White Willow Salix alba is the most common treesized willow whilst the Crack Willow Salix fragilis is the familiar pollarded willow that flanks so many of our rivers and streams. The two species hybridise freely, although in practice propagate themselves by shedding limbs which wash downstream and then root. Great care must be taken when felling or pollarding Willow trees as the large wood splits and compresses in unusual ways. Traditionally harvested for winter fodder, basketry and fencing materials, modern hybrids are enjoying great interest as biomass producers, foulwater purifiers and mediums for living sculpture. The bark of willow can be chewed as a painreliever and its charcoal is still appreciated by artists for drawing. The dry firewood burns brightly yet quickly. wIllOw Salix
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