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How to Propagate a Cork Screw Willow

The corkscrew willow tree, also called the curly willow, has a very unique branch structure, with branches growing at an upward angle from the trunk and then growing horizontally. The corkscrew willow is also an extremely fast-growing tree, putting on as many as 10 to 15 feet in a single year. Another nice aspect of the corkscrew willow is how easy it is to grow new trees from cuttings.

Use your garden shears to cut the tips off of one or more branches of the corkscrew willow. Take a cutting from new growth (this season's growth). Cuttings should be 10 to 12 inches long and no more than about half-inch in diameter.

Strip leaves from the bottom 6 inches of your cuttings.

Fill a glass jar with no more than 6 inches of water and place the cut end of your cuttings directly into the water. Place the jar in a sunny and warm (68 to 70 degrees F) location out of direct sunlight. Change the water in your jar every two days. Within two to three weeks you will see root hairs sprouting all along the cut end of your cuttings.

Dig a hole in your garden approximately 12 inches deep and 12 inches across. Add sand and peat moss until you have a mixture approximately one-third garden soil, one-third sand and one-third peat moss. Mix this well with your spade and then fill in approximately 6 inches of the hole.

Center your cutting in the hole and carefully fill in around the bottom 6 inches of your cutting with the garden soil/sand/peat moss mixture. Press gently and then water. The soil should be kept moist but not too wet. Corkscrew willows can thrive in full sun to partial shade.

Watch for your cutting to sprout leaves within three to five weeks.


Do not plant your corkscrew willow too close to driveways, walkways or foundations, as the roots of the willow are very shallow and grow closer to the surface of the ground as the tree ages.

Your corkscrew willow will reach a height of approximately 30 feet with a total limb diameter of approximately 40 feet.

As the tree ages limbs can become brittle and break off during high winds or strong rains.

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