Weeping Willow
Salix babylonica

Weeping Willow Tree on Nazareth Campus Description

The weeping willow can grow anywhere from 30-50 feet tall.  It can obtain a diameter of 1-3 feet.  It is known for its drooping leaves and branches.  The leaves of the willow appear long and narrow and are whitened underneath (5).  The spread of a weeping willow can reach up to 35 feet (3).

Location 

Weeping Willow on our walk is located behind Lourdes Hall at the back parking lot.  If you peer through the leaves you can see the front of the houses on Winding Road in Pittsford.

Native Habitat

These trees are native to China (1), but can be found in Canada and the United States.  The region that they cover includes from Canada south to Georgia, and west to Missouri (5).

Optimal Growing Conditions

Weeping Willows like a moist environment and can be found along streams and rivers.  These trees prefer a damp, heavy soil in a sunny position (2).

Economic Importance

The bark of this tree is of the utmost importance. Salicylic acid, a precursor to aspirin, can be extracted from the bark of the willow.  Other medicinal uses for the bark of this tree are as an anti-inflammatory agent, to heal articular bleeding, and to ease heartburn or stomach ailments (4).

Ethnobotanical and Cultural Information

Various species of the willow exist.  Many different species have cultural significance and uses.  Ancient Chinese, European, and American Indian people have used the bark of the Weeping Willow as a fever reducer (1).  The American Indians found that it induced perspiration, and some even drank or bathed in an infusion of the roots for use of its medicinal properties (6).

Fascinating Facts

Although this tree has a very appealing appearance to it, as it often used as an ornamental tree (1), it can cause many problems.   The root system is rather aggressive and can cause problems with drains (2).  The large Willow tree that used to reside in front of the Otto A. Shults Community Center did just that and had to be cut down.

Other interesting sites

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/eesc/environmental/
CulturalResources/Ethnobotany/Salix.htm

http://www.arborday.org/treeguide/nitree.cfm?id=30

http://www.wellesley.edu/Activities/homepage/
web/Species/pwillowweeping.html

References

1.  Duke J, Foster S. 2001. Peterson Field Guides: Medicinal Plants and Herbs. 2nd ed. New York: Houghton Mifflin. 411 p.

2.  http://gardenbed.com/s/3479.cfm

3. http://www.arborday.org/treeguide/nitree.cfm?id=30

 4.  Lust J. 2001. The Herb Book: The Complete and Authoritative Guide to More than 500 Herbs. New York: Beneficial Books. 675 p.

5.  Petrides G. 1998. Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Trees. New York: Houghton Mifflin. 424 p.

6.  Vogel V. 1970. American Indian Medicine. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 584 p.

"Weeping Willow"
a song written by Pauline Villanueva
She goes to her room,
Sits and cries.
She's so lonesome.
She wants to die.
"What good is life," she asks,
"when nobody wants you?
How do you forget
When your past always haunts you?"
Weeping Willow,
Crying for me.
Weeping Willow,
Trying to be
Someone she's not
And it's giving her pain.
Weeping Willow,
You don't have to change.
She wakes up at night
And she broods
About her memories,
About her childhood.
She remembers the screaming
And the abuse.
She recalls crying and praying
For God to let her loose.
Weeping Willow.
All alone.
Weeping Willow
Nowhere to call home.
I'm here for you.
Don't give up just yet.
Weeping Willow
Your cheeks are so wet.
She tries to get up.
She can't cry anymore.
But she's overwhelmed
And crumples to the floor.
She says she's no good,
Making me suffer this way.
But I love her
And I'm going to stay.
Weeping Willow.
Don't cry for me.
Weeping Willow.
Don't die on me.
I need you and I'll help you.
Everything will be all right.
Weeping Willow
Don't leave this world tonight.
ADDITIONAL VERSE:
Weeping Willow
Trembles at my touch.
Weeping Willow
Been through so much.
Close your eyes now.
Get some sleep
While I pray to the Lord
Your soul to keep.

 

Created by:  Chad J. Aubin

 Edited by: Vanessa C. Powell

 

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  Dr. Beverly Brown  

  Nazareth College of Rochester        

  Page last edited: 12/04/2003