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Fresh and dry willow can be used in different types of mats, each one with its own function.

'1. Salimatten'

The Salimat is made out of fresh willow woven with sisal and is used for covering dredging sludge. The distance between the rods is 20cm. These mats can have a length of 100m.

The mats have a width of 2m and are equipped with a tube to facilitate the unroll by dragging them by means of a crane.

In good growing conditions the willows can be 2m – 2.5m tall after the first year. The willows have a draining effect on humid soils and even after about three months you can walk on it. During the first year on average 350.000 shoots are growing per hectare.

After approximately ten years there has been formed a pioneersforest in which also other types of trees can be planted. Even the spontaneous growth of those other types of trees is possible.

There are studies that research the capacity of willow to take up heavy metals out the dredging sludge.

'deposit of a Salimat on dredging sludge'

'formation of the first sprouts > after 2-3 months > after 10 years on the site in Eksaarde'

'2. Erosionmats'

These are mats of fresh willows woven with sisal and in which the willow rods are pointing to both sides. The mats have a width of 2m and must have a minimum height of 0,50m. They have to be tied up on fresh or dry poles. This way the mats prevent the sliding of the banks of rivers and ponds. After the first year the roots penetrate deeply into the banks and they form a permanent defence.

Besides erosionmats there is also the possibility to use willows of more than one year for river defence.

'3. Hedges & growing mats'

These are mats of fresh willow in which the rods, that are mechanically knotted, are laying in the same direction. The mats need to be planted about 25cm in the soil and from Spring on a fresh green hedge will be formed.