Table of Contents
Salix babilonica Oinn. Family
Salix babilonica Oinn. English Name
Salix babilonica Oinn. Local Name
Salix babilonica Oinn. Description
A small to medium sized deciduous tree. The trunk is straight, with spreading. Branches are pendulous and the crown is rounded. The leaves are simple, long and narrow, 8 to 18 cm long and 1 cm wide. The leaf margins are finely toothed with pointed tips. The bark is fissured, rough and ridged. It is dioecious. The male and female catkins are yellowish, 2 to 3 cm long. The catkins appear after the leaves have flushed. Flowering and seed production occurs between February and March. Rust and powdery mildew are not uncommon on the foliage and can become epidemic. Ganoderma wood rot is also a common problem. It is reproduced from seed and by vegetative means. However most trees result from root suckers or cuttings. Diameter growth of 1 to 2 cm/yr has been reported. Height growth will average 1 to 2 m/yr. Grains are straight, fine, and even textured having specific gravity of 0.49.
Salix babilonica Oinn. Distribution
The tree is native to central China. It is now grown extensively in many parts of the world as an ornamental. In Pakistan it is found in the Himalayan Valleys along water courses. It is specific to Azad Kashmir, Kaghan, and Swat. It has been successfully planted in the plains, usually along water courses. A moderately intolerant tree that grows on a variety of rich, sandy loam soils that are well drained. It is adapted to a precipitation zone of 750 to 2250 mm/yr or more, in a temperature range of -2 to 40°C. It prefers a sub-humid, semi-arid, sub-tropical, monsoon climate and is forest hardy.
Salix babilonica Oinn. Uses
Its fast growth and size make this a very desirable tree for use in a farm forestry programs especially on wet sites. It is also a good tree to use on moist denuded hills and gullied areas to check erosion. Also used as fuel, match sticks, paper pulp, basket making, fodder and tannin, Landscaping.