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Re: Re:Curly willow aka corkscrew willow

Noreen, the shrub known as 'Harry Lauder's Walkingstick' is not
the same as corkscrew willow.  I grow them both.  'Harry Lauder'
is Corylus avellina 'Contorta,' and The corkscrew willow is
Salix Matsudana 'Tortulosa.' 
Both are hardy here in zone 5, and both are favorite plants.
I had a very large 'Harry Lauder' for a number of years, but it
suddenly died abut ten years ago.  I thought perhaos the 
problem was that it was planted over an old dry well, and 
it's roots had finally reached the well - don't know why it
died because it had been a beautiful, healthy plant.  I have
replaced it with another in a different spot, but this one 
seems more vulnerable to deer damage.  Like everything
else in the yard these days.
The year we moved  here - 1970 - a neighbor gave me some
branches of her curly willow for a flower arrangement, and
said it would root if given a chance.  Since that time I have
maintained a supply of young trees rooted from cuttings, and
have given many to interested people.  The trees have been
planted in my vegetable garden - I have a bench there and like
a bit of shade.  However, Chet doesn't want a tree there, so 
when it begins to get big he cuts it down.  We have been
fighting this battle for so many years.  The current tree is
quite large, but I have made dire threats about what will
happen if this one is cut.  An ice storm a couple of years
ago topped it, so it is somewhat diminished.  My florist
friends love it, so I keep them supplied, and the tree under
control by trimming.  And I do have a row of rooted cuttings
for replacements.  I have found it to root very easily - just
stick it in the ground and it roots.  Aside from being rather
brittle, and dropping branches after a storm, it has been
no problem at all for me - just Chet who cuts it down.  
In a message dated 04/10/2007 11:22:32 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
TeichFlora@aol.com writes:

This tree grows all over Germany.  Every yard has one in it, the  corkscrew 
willow, or the Harry Lauder Walkingstick.  In the late  winter everyone cuts 
branches off the tree a month or so before Easter and  puts it in a vase.  
branches then start to root and sprout out just  for Easter.  The branches 
are decorated with wooden ornaments and decorated  eggs.  This becomes the 
traditional Easter tree.  

My mom brought several cuttings with her from Germany when she moved here  in 
l986.  They do well here in zone 9, although they are actually  better suited 
for cooler climates.   They tend to grow far too quickly  here and are not as 
long lived, usually about 10 years.  In Europe they  would go through the 
coldest of winters, and survive nicely.   The branches were also much more 
and dense than they are here.   So I'm sure the tree will do well for you.

My mom, in the past 20 years that she has lived here, has shared Easter  
trees that have sprouted with all her friends, all the way up to Vancouver,  
Canada,  Seattle, Minnesota, etc.  They are all doing well.

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