Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pollard willows

see?! this is how grey and rainy the netherlands is right now. beeehhhh!! again a rainy day today. we drove on this narrow road, which is actually a 2-way road. every now and then there was some space so that cars could pass each other (but we didnt see any other). the trees you see above are so very dutch! they line many small roads and pastures. according to the digital dictionary, in english you call them pollard willow (we call them "knotwilg"). by heavily cutting back the branches of the tree close to its trunk, you get that bushy growth on top. this has been done by people for many centuries; its cut off branches were used to make all sorts of stuff; from houses (or more like building blocks of houses) to weaving baskets and other utensils made by braiding some branches... nowadays we dont use their branches for that anymore, and more and more trees disappear. but those trees are such a dutch thing, some people are trying to actively keep them in the dutch landscape. to keep the trees healthy; their branches need to be cut periodically. if not, their top becomes too heavy and they will die. nowadays this is mostly done by volunteers. birds (mostly owls) like to make their nests in these trees and lots of vegetation grows on them as well....
before posting this picture, i just knew the dutch name of these trees, and that they are very dutch...!