De Meerbrug - Catholic Primary
Zwanenburg - The Netherlands
Pollard Willow Tree
This piece of work is
made by the pupils of grade 5-6
common name of this tree is Pollard-Willow Tree.
These pictures weretaken on the dike between Halfweg and
Zwanenburg. At the other side of the water you can see Zwanenburg. This
photo is taken in september 1996. The Pollard-Willow is a special Willow
tree. Let's have a closer look.
Common name is (in Dutch:)
KNOTWILG (in English:) Pollard-Willow
The Botanical name is Salix
It has soft wood, with an
average age of 50 years.
It grows best near the water.
In Holland it's a common tree; there are many willows. By the way, we think
that the oldest tree in Holland is a 800 year old lime-tree.
When the willow achieves a
hight of 200-250 cm, the rest will be cut off, so the max. height stays
at this size.
young twigs are used for many purposes.
The leaves are not poisonous.
Other plants near the Pollard-Willow are for instance hawthorn, cuckoo
gillyflower, rosebay, moss, cow parsley, grass and reed. The Pollard-Willow
is amentiferous. Is has catkins. The pupils of The Meerbrug like the tree.
The bark is brown, grey, green.
It has green leaves. It grows catkins. The leaves are smooth. An average
tree has a girth of approximately 70-100 cm. So just one child (or two)
can encircle it with his arms. When a Pollard-Willow is not cut off, it
can reach a height of 15-25 metres. A Pollard-Willow needs water; it can't
grow in an ordinary forest or in a city. If you come over to visit Holland,
and you try to find a Pollard-Willow, search for it near rivers, canals,
lakes and so on.
The leaves fall of for Winter.
The color of the leaves in Autumm is brown. In Holland we have in the winter
sometimes snow; so there is also snow on the trees. The wind and some insects
spread the seeds around. But there are also some places in Holland and
Belgium were people use the twigs to let new trees grow. They stick the
twigs into the wet ground.
Life in this tree
The pupils of De Meerbrug
saw the following birds in the trees: starling, crow, sparrow, coal-tit,
trush, little owl, woodpecker, windhover and a redbreast.
They saw many beetles, caterpillars,
bees, snails and ants. Some children find also spiders.
Uses of the tree
The wood is used for: willow
matting, hoops, baskets, basket-work, wooden shoes, artwork
The tree has no smell. If
you are lucky to live near the waterfront, you can use the tree to play
in. It is excessively usefull to build treeforts/houses in it. The Pollard-Willow
is a national tree. A few pupils knew that somtetimes the Willow is used
to make tea of it, which is febrifugal.
Literature, Art, Music, Dance
Some Dutch painters used the Willow-Tree to show
a typical Dutch landscape. The pupils had never read a story about a Pollard-Willow.
Charon (one of the pupils of grade 6, in Dutch groep
8) made her own drawing. And Maaike (also a girl of
grade 6) made a poem about the Pollard-Willow. Frank (a boy from grade
6) found a poem with some nice drawings. Please
look at their work.
History and Mythology
Jody (a girl from grade 6) found the story: De Wilgen
in de Winter (The Willows at Winter), written by Kenneth Grahams.
She also told us that in the past some people could
foretell the future when they saw a blossomed tree.
Willow-people (who are born between 3-12 September
and 1-10 March) are known as flexible and tolerant. Sometimes they do great
discoveries, with wich they can let their dreams come out.
Charon knows the story from a nobleman from the
middle ages who had to hide in a Pollard-Willow.
There are people who know for sure that they can
find water with a divining rod. And a divining rod is mostly made of the
branch of a (Pollard) Willow.
26 februari 1997
February 26, 1997
International Wishing Tree
(read the students whishes)
Visitors since 01-01-1997: : 412 +
Last modified (dd-mm-yyyy): 22-11-1997
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