The goat willow (Salix caprea) is the largest-growing willow in Finland. It is found in virtually the whole country, but it is not very common in the northernmost Lapland. Its habitat is usually a depression that is a bit moister than the surrounding environment or an ecotone of a bog and a moor.
The trunk of an old goat willow can be over a meter in diameter, but it rarely has time or is allowed to grow that big. The goat willow decays very easily and even the smallest old goat willows are full of life. Many insect, fungus and lichen species live on their thick, longitudinally cracked bark.
In April, it is worthwhile to stop next to a blossoming goat willow and watch the life in its flowers. The goat willow blooms early and it is a very important source of food to pollinating insects in the springtime when there is not much nourishment available .You can find hundreds of insects in the flowers of a single tree – dozens of different species. A big goat willow that blossoms at the edge of the yard is a veritable pollinator magnet of the garden.