Salix chilensis Moldenke
Salix chilensis Molina
Common Name: Sauce
Flowering plant in native habitat
Photograph by: Pato Novoa
Sauce is a deciduous tree with an open canopy and pendulous branches, growing from 12 - 20 metres tall. The bole is 40 - 60cm in diameter[
], and can be unbranched for the first 12 metres[
The tree is a popular source of material for basket making. It also has local uses as a medicine and low-quality timber. Planted as a pioneer species in reforestation projects, as a hedge and to provide basket-making material, it is also an ornamental tree, used in landscaping projects[
]. Cultivated in Costa Rica and Panama for the use of its rods in basketwork or for living fences (Cuba)[
S. America - Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, through Central America to Mexico.
Found mainly in secondary forests, but always in places where the soil is moist by rivers etc[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
The plant ranges from the temperate to the tropical zones, where it is found at elevations up to 2,000 metres[
Requires a sunny position[
Young plants establish well and grow away quickly[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required.
The bark has been used medicinally[
]. It contains salicylic acid, from which aspirin has been derived. The bark has antiinflammatory properties.
A pioneer species, able to rapidly invade open areas. It is adapted to humid soils[
It is often planted along streams and irrigation ditches in order to prevent erosion[
It is one of the most frequently cultivated shade-providing trees of the Andes[
Because even large stems root easily, the tree has been used as a living fence[
The slender branches are flexible and are widely used in basketry, to make wicker furniture etc[
The bark is rich in tannin[
The sapwood is indistinct from the heartwood[
]. The wood is moderately lustrous; the grain normally straight; the texture fine and even[
]. It is light in weight, soft, of low resistance to rot when exposed, and very prone to marine borer, termite and blue stain attack[
]. It works very easily with most hand and machine tools; finishes smoothly if sharp cutters are used; glues and nails satisfactorily[
]. It is used for internal work, boxes, rural buildings, paper pulp etc[
The wood can be used as a fuel[
]. It makes a good firewood[
The seed is very small and light, being covered in a white down. Because they blow away so easily, they should be collected from the tree as soon as the seed capsules begin to open. Sow the seed immediately in a lightly shaded seed bed and do not cover them - but make sure the soil remains moist. The germination rate is usually quite low, taking place within a few weeks. The seedlings grow away quickly and can be planted out when about 25cm tall.
Cuttings root easily.
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