Usefulness and services of the tree :
Features and characters of the individual
This tree and its neighbours have a distinctive silhouette, as they are pollards that have been cut at the top to encourage growth. As such they look like they are missing their crowns. The branches are harvested every 5–7 years. The result is that the trunk gets thicker as it gets higher, and twists and hollows following the effect of the wind. They are home to a large number of birds and insects. Their bark is yellowy brown towards a grey-ash colour. Their leaves are covered with silky little silver hairs.
Several bands of white willows inhabit Parc du Bempt, with one band going round a magnificent row of poplars. These two species come from the same family: Salicaceae. They were planted together to shape the landscape, separate farming plots and protect crops from the wind. All of these trees are acquainted with life in the meadows in the lower part of Forest. They have seen their green space targeted little by little by the city and industrialisation. Willows have many therapeutic properties, not only for humans but also for soils. They have the power to fight ground pollution: a very valuable gift nowadays!
This portrait is enriched with an illustration from the Belgian Federal State Collection on permanent loan to the Meise Botanical Garden. See attached. Thanks to the library (heritage collection) for this contribution.