WILLOW. There are many varieties of the willow (Salix). It is perhaps the softest and lightest of our woods. Its colour is tolerably white, inclining to yellowish-grey: it is planed into chips for hat-boxes, baskets, and wove bonnets; it has been attempted to be used in the manufacture of paper.
The small branches of willow are used for hoops for tubs, the huge wood for cricket-bats. From the facility with which it is turned, it is in demand for boxes for druggists and perfumers, which are otherwise made of small birch-wood.
The wood of the willow is described by Mr. London as soft, smooth, and light; the wood of the larger species, as Salix alba and Russelliana, is sawn into boards for flooring. The red wood willow, S.fragilis is said to produce timber superior to any other species; it is used for building light and swift-sailing vessels; S. Russel-Hana bring closely allied to S. fragilis is probably allied to it in properties. The wood of S. caprea is heavier than that of any other species. Hats are manufactured in Prance from strips of the wood S. alba.