Willow goat - it is a tree or shrub that belongs to the Willow family. Another one of her name - crazy.
It grows throughout Europe, except for the tundra and alpine forests.
Prefers gravel pits, quarries, light forests, bushes, heathlands, forest edges, hillsides and places along water bodies and roads. Loves fertile, fresh and moist soil.
Goat willow: description and decorative properties
The plant is a small, from 3 to 6 m tree, sometimes grows as a shrub. The goat willow root system is very branched, so the plant feels good on stony soils. It grows very quickly.
The advantage of the tree is that at any time of the year it looks beautiful. In spring, shoots are covered with fluffy "seals", from summer to autumn the crown is covered with dense foliage and beautiful flowers, and in winter the shoots of unusual color contrast beautifully against the background of snow.
A young tree has a greenish-gray bark color, which with age becomes red-olive or red-brown. Depending on the variety, the leaves may be lanceolate or ovoid. In length, they reach 13 cm, and in width - 8 cm. The leaves have a dark green color.
Did you know? The name "goat" willow received among the people for the special love of goats and sheep to the foliage and young shoots brediny. In this case, in the Rostov region of the Russian Federation, it is listed in the local Red Book.The shoots of the tree are flexible, twigs, falling to the ground. If the tree is planted on a plot with sufficient lighting, the plant forms a lush crown. That it represents the high decorative value of the plant.
In the spring it is covered with fluffy "cats". They represent a rod around which numerous flowers are arranged in a spiral. Due to ripened anthers, male flowers have a golden halo. The pleasant aroma of flowers attracts many insects, so willow as a honey plant is a very valuable plant. As a rule, goat willow is hardy, unpretentious to the soil, light-requiring.
Choosing a landing site
When choosing a landing site, keep in mind that the plant is very light-requiring. In addition, very sensitive to strong drafts. The surface root system is sensitive to moisture, so a good layer of drainage should be laid during planting. In order for the roots to grow faster, a fertile mixture, humus, and compost should be added to the pit for planting.
Important! Goat willow is propagated either by grafting or by seed. Cutting does not bring the expected result. In addition, the seeds lose their germination 10 days after ripening, so it is best to sow them immediately after harvest. But it is easier to buy in the nursery a ready-made plant seedling.The willow is absolutely not demanding to the soil, but it is noticed that the most magnificent specimens grow on fresh and light loams. He likes wet soils, but he also feels good on dry sandy ones. The main thing is that there is no admixture of lime in the soil.
Optimum time and planting seedlings
It is better to plan willow for spring or autumn. Then the plant will have optimal conditions to settle down and increase the root system.
The first time after disembarking it must be constantly watered. For a week you need to pour at least 25 liters of water under the tree. In dry periods, watering is carried out more and more often. From the second year of a plant’s life, it can be watered once a week
Care and cultivation of willow
Goat willow, in addition to special rules for planting, requires special care. It is important to regularly remove undergrowth that constantly makes its way under the grafting site. If this is not done, the vaccine will die.
Caring for a tree involves periodically feeding it, from the beginning of the growing season to the beginning of the dormant period, no more than 2-3 additional feeding can be done. To do this, use complex fertilizers, and in the fall - sulfuric potassium or superphosphate.
In order for willow formation to proceed smoothly, it is necessary to weed the soil around the plant in time and delay the growth of weeds as much as possible. To do this, the soil around must be mulched: expanded clay, paper, sawdust, peat, pebbles. In addition, it will help retain moisture in the soil. If the ground is too dry, it will crack, after watering it should be loosened.
The tree requires regular pruning. As a rule, pruning of goat willow is carried out at a height of 30-60 cm.
The plant is considered to be winter-hardy and does not require shelter for a cold period, but young shoots which it is desirable to wrap can suffer in severe frosts. Be sure to close the tree on the trunk.
Goat willow on a shtamba: height and pruning for mold
Far from any variety of goat willow is suitable for growing on a trunk. The Pendula variety is considered ideal for this. As a trunk is used native tree trunk. With this type of cultivation, it is important in the first years of the tree’s life to give it the desired shape, otherwise the branches will quickly reach the ground and will follow it.
Important! Some gardeners are trying to propagate the tree by grafting on shtamb. But this procedure requires deep knowledge and rich experience. Even with experienced gardeners such a sapling does not always take root, so it is better to take it in the nursery anyway.Having planted a tree in their plot, gardeners wonder when to cut goat willow. The first pruning is carried out in the first year of the seedling's life, cutting off young shoots from it. They should not exceed a length of 15 cm. For the rest, there should be at least one kidney. Make sure that it is not turned inside the crown, but to the side or up. This is the only way to achieve the desired form of the plant crown.
Pruned trees are subject to pruning. It is held every year after flowering. Cutting a goat willow on a trunk requires that such shoots be shortened by 2/3 of the length. Over the summer, the tree will release new shoots, which will force it to branch densely.
Goat willow in landscape design
The tree is characterized by the rapid formation of a dense root system and, in principle, rapid growth. Therefore, it is often planted in parks, squares, cornering paths, the shore of the pond, alpine slide. Planted it in a single planting, and in the vicinity of other plants. Often a hedge is formed from it.
Goat willow in landscape design goes well with evergreen trees, dwarf conifers, ground covers, perennials.
Possible problems with goat willow
It is believed that the plant is resistant to most diseases, but still, some diseases appear on it. For example, a white bloom appears on the leaves, which indicates that the plant has been infected with powdery mildew. Its pathogen is a specific fungus that infects the leaves located at the bottom of the crown. Over time, they turn yellow and fall off. You can fight the disease only with antifungal drugs.
Also on the leaves may appear black spot, which is also caused by fungi. Fungicides will also help to get rid of it. As a preventive measure, it is recommended to weed the ground more often under the tree and ensure that no water gets on the leaves during watering.
Willow disease is not the only problem that can arise when it is grown. It is often attacked by pests, such as a flower fly or a willow moth. You can fight a flower fly by watering the soil around a tree with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. So you destroy the larvae of the flies that live there. If there are too many pests, insecticides should be used to control them.
If you properly care for a tree and protect it from diseases and pests, a long willow will delight you with its beautiful appearance - its life expectancy is on average 30 years.
The use of goat willow in folk medicine
Goat willow is used in various areas of life. From its branches weave baskets, finely chopped bark - for tanning leather. But, besides this, it has been successfully used for a long time in traditional medicine.
The bark is used to treat diseases of the gallbladder, rheumatism, and colds. To do this, prepare a decoction of 20 g of crushed bark. She is poured with a glass of boiling water and boiled in a water bath for half an hour. After insisting about 15 minutes, filter and drink a few tablespoons 3-4 times a day.
Did you know? The tree is a great honey plant. From it, the bees collect not only nectar for the production of honey, but also sticky excretions of the kidneys, honey dew. Goat willow based propolis has great medicinal value.As a tonic use a decoction of 10 g of flowers of the plant, which is poured with boiling water, boiled in a water bath for 15 minutes and infused for 45 minutes. Is ingested by the same pattern.
Broths can rinse your mouth to treat diseases of the gums and stomatitis. The healing properties of goat willow are also contained in its leaves. They are able to cure corns. Also, willow has a wound healing, choleretic, antipyretic, calming effect. It is noticed that it regulates the work of sweat glands.
Goat willow is first and foremost a beautiful ornamental plant, which is willingly used by landscape designers in creating beautiful garden compositions. In addition, it has a number of medicinal properties. To grow a beautiful tree, you must purchase a seedling in the nursery. Plant care is simple, but without proper and timely pruning, it will lose most of its vaunted beauty.