The Q&A Archives: Curly Willow

Question: Where can I find information on growing curly willows?

Answer: Corkscrew Willows (Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa')are extremely easy to propagate by cuttings. Just cut a branch (1/2 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter), and then cut the branch into 3 or 4 inch pieces, making sure each piece has one bud. Lay the pieces on dampened potting soil with the bud up and exposed, covering the ends with additional potting soil. Roots will form opposite of the bud and a new stem with leaves will appear when the plant has rooted. You can do this any time this spring or summer and have new willow tree saplings by this fall.

Willows do best in full sun and rich moist soil; a damp or soggy "low spot" is a good place to plant a willow although they will tolerate average soil if watered carefully when young. Fertilize according to the label instructions with any complete fertilizer in early spring. Be sure the tree is kept well watered and mulched for at least the first year or until it becomes well established.

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