Salix matsudana (Corkscrew Willow)
My friend Diane gave me my first corkscrew willow when I admired it in her garden one summer day, and I've been an admirer of this attractive tree ever since. It's a fast grower, so if you're the impatient sort, you'll be glad to know that it grows 10-15 feet a year, up to 30 feet, in full sun to dappled shade and moist soil. It's attractive all the time in its whole and in its parts. It's deciduous, so in winter you have its twisted limbs to admire to their full advantage, and in early spring, even those take on take on a beautiful orange/yellow color. Then the leaves and new branches appear, and they are also twisted, or curled. It remains beautiful all summer, with those twisted limbs and leaves shimmering in the breeze. In fact, they tend to shimmer with or without aide. In fall, those leaves turn a beautiful yellow. I don't know anything not to like about this one. Be careful where you plant it, however; the roots are shallow, so don't plant it near foundations. I have mine planted beside a pond where they are completely content. And here's a little secret I'd like to share: Willow contains a natural rooting compound called auxin. I use it to root many plants in the greenhouse. Mind you, it will not root everything, but it will root quite a lot, and you just have to experiment to find out what. Cut some willow pieces, put them in a cup of water, and add pieces of what you'd like to root. The willow will root itself and, if you're lucky, what you have in the water will root, too. I am never without various containers of willow in water in the greenhouse. Zones 5-8. Quarts.