Peachleaf Willow Facts – Peachleaf Willow Identification And More

Peachleaf Willow Facts:

1) This is a type of willow which grows from the ground and does not have any branches.

Its leaves are yellowish-green with several small white spots at the tips. They are oval shaped and slightly curved, but they do not resemble those of a maple leaf or a silver birch leaf.

2) The name “peach” refers to its color.

It looks like a bright red apple.

3) This species is native to Europe and Asia, but it was introduced into North America in the early 19th century due to the fact that it had been used as a dye during the American Civil War.

It became popular among farmers because of its resistance against rot and insects, so they planted lots of them in their fields.

4) During the late 1800’s, it was widely grown in New England and Massachusetts.

However, it became rare after World War II due to over-harvesting. Today, only a few trees remain in Maine and Vermont.

5) A single peachleaf willow may produce up to ten fruit on each branch.

These fruits are round, smooth and very juicy. They have a green skin and contain three to six white segments in their interior.

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6) The leaves are deciduous, meaning that they fall off during the winter months.

After they fall, it is possible to identify the tree because its stems are gray and smooth.

7) These trees hate growing near streams or rivers because if their roots get too wet they start to rot.

When they grow by watercourses, their growth is stunted and many of them die young.

8) The fruits are edible and have a sweet flavor.

They can be eaten directly from the tree or they can be cooked. When they are dried, they can be used in cakes.

9) In a few Native American communities in the USA, the fruits are used to make willow tea.

This beverage has been used traditionally to relieve pain during childbirth, sooth sore throats and reduce fevers.

10) The inner parts of the fruits contain salicin, a chemical compound which is a precursor to aspirin. During the Civil War, soldiers chewed the bark to relieve pain.

Peachleaf Willow Facts – Peachleaf Willow Identification And More - Image

11) The wood of peachleaf willow can be carved into walking sticks or figurines.

12) During the winter, these tree trunks are grayish-brown in color. They have horizontal layers and their bark has a diamond shaped pattern. It is quite thick.

13) It doesn’t usually grow more than 10 feet in height and 6 feet in width, but it has a strong tendency to spread out due to its horizontal branching.

14) The fruits ripen during the summer months. They are red or orange when they are picked.

15) During the winter, the bark becomes grayish-brown in color and it has horizontal layers. The inner bark is pink in color.

16) The branches are slender and very flexible. They grow in an arc shape towards the ground.

17) Their leaves are small, narrow and slightly curved. They are oval shaped and their tips point towards the ground.

18) The twigs are light gray in color and have pubescence. This means that they have small bristles on them.

19) Its flowers grow in clusters before the leaves arrive. Their petals are pink in color and their anthers are purple.

20) During the fall, the leaves turn a red color. This gives the tree a very colorful appearance.

21) The fruit is green when it is immature, but it turns orange and red when it ripens during the summer. It has three or four sections.

22) The seeds are large and have a rounded shape. They are orange in color and they have a sweet flavor.

23) In 1770, it was brought to the gardens of England by a British explorer. Today, it is quite rare in the UK.

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24) Native Americans used the bark of this tree to create cloth and the inner bark as a type of bread.

25) This tree has been nicknamed ‘water willow’ due to the fact that its roots grow near watercourses.

26) The wood of this tree is not durable. It swells and shrinks a lot, which causes cracks to appear as the tree grows old.

27) Native Americans ate the fruits raw and also cooked them into a type of syrup or jam.

28) The flowers smell like honey and their petals are a cream or yellowish color. They grow in large clusters before the leaves arrive.

29) The fruit has a sweet and pleasant taste.

30) This tree’s scientific name is derived from the fact that Native Americans used its bark to strain water when hunting for fish in streams.

Sources & references used in this article:

Heavy metal uptake by willow clones from sewage sludge-treated soil: the potential for phytoremediation by ID Pulford, D Riddell-Black… – International Journal of …, 2002 – Taylor & Francis

Metal tolerance, accumulation and translocation in poplar and willow clones treated with cadmium in hydroponics by M Zacchini, F Pietrini, GS Mugnozza, V Iori… – Water, Air, and Soil …, 2009 – Springer

Differential parasitism of macrolepidopteran herbivores on two deciduous tree species by P Barbosa, AE Segarra, P Gross, A Caldas… – Ecology, 2001 – Wiley Online Library

The characterization of willow (Salix L.) varieties for use in ecological engineering applications: co-ordination of structure, function and autecology by YA Kuzovkina, TA Volk – Ecological Engineering, 2009 – Elsevier

Age-Specific Fecundity of Anoplophora glabripennis (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) on Three Tree Species Infested in the United States by MT Smith, J Bancroft, J Tropp – Environmental Entomology, 2002 – academic.oup.com

Ecological and reproductive relationships of Black-capped and Carolina chickadees by R Brewer – The Auk, 1963 – JSTOR

Effects of soil conditions on survival and growth of black willow cuttings by SD Schaff, SR Pezeshki, FD Shields – Environmental management, 2003 – Springer

Synoptic inventory of riparian ecosystems: the utility of Landsat Thematic Mapper data by MJ Hewitt III – Forest Ecology and Management, 1990 – Elsevier

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