Principal commercial areas are the Middle and Southern states, along the Mississippi River. Average tree height is usually no taller than 30 to 40 feet.
Furniture, mouldings and millwork, paneling, doors, sports equipment, kitchen utensils and toys. Good walnut substitute.
Together, aspen, basswood, cottonwood, elm, gum, hackberry, sassafras, sycamore and willow represent 12.5 percent of commercially available U.S. hardwoods.
The chemical predecessor of aspirin originally was isolated from willow bark.
The sapwood of willow varies in width according to growing conditions and is light creamy brown in color. In contrast, the heartwood is pale reddish brown to greyish brown. The wood has a fine even texture and although generally straight-grained it can sometimes be interlocked, or display figure.
Willow works fairly easily with hand and machine tools but care is needed to avoid a fuzzy surface when interlocked grain is present. The wood nails and screws well, glues excellently, and can be sanded to a very good finish. It dries fairly rapidly with minimal degrade although may be susceptible to moisture pockets. Dimensional stability is good when dry.
The wood is weak in bending, compression, shock-resistance and stiffness, with a poor steam-bending classification.
Reasonable availability on a regional basis.