Color/Appearance:Heartwood ranges from a light tan to a deeper reddish brown, sometimes with darker streaks. The sapwood is white to tan, and isn’t always clearly or sharply demarcated from heartwood.
Grain/Texture:Crack Willow has a straight grain with a fine to medium uniform texture.
Endgrain:Semi-ring-porous (very subtle change in pore size from earlywood to latewood sometimes overlooked as diffuse-porous); medium to large pores in no specific arrangement, moderately numerous to numerous; commonly in radial multiples of 2-3; narrow rays not visible—sometimes even with the aid of hand lens, spacing normal to close; parenchyma banded (marginal).
Rot Resistance:Rated as non-durable to perishable, and also susceptible to insect attack.
Workability:With its low density, Crack Willow can have poor machining characteristics, frequently resulting in fuzzy surfaces during planing. Willow also tends to develop numerous drying defects and can be difficult to season. Glues and finishes well.
Allergies/Toxicity:There have been very few adverse health effects associated with the actual wood of willow (Salix genus), however, the bark and other parts of the tree have been reported as sensitizers. Usually most common reactions simply include skin and respiratory irritation. See the articlesWood Allergies and ToxicityandWood Dust Safetyfor more information.
Pricing/Availability:Crack Willow isn’t seen for sale very often in the United States because other domestic species, (such asBlack Willow), are more readily available. Prices within its natural range are likely to be moderate.
Sustainability:This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses:Baskets, utility wood, crates, furniture, carvings, and other small specialty wood items.