Asked on Apr 29, 2017

What did I do wrong planting curly willows?

Dot JonesElaineConnie K


I planted 3 curly willow trees that had roots and leaf shoots. I have kept them watered, but in a day or so all the buds were gone and the branches turned black.
5 answers
  • Janet Pizaro
    on Apr 29, 2017

    What is you planting zone? Did you have a freeze?
  • Connie K
    on Apr 30, 2017

    Dot, possible problems could be size of hole vs. plant size, Type of soil ie. any amendments needed etc. or fertilizer (either too much or none). Do they normally do well in your area? If so, you might contact your local extension service to see what advice they have for the planting if you decide to replace them and try again.
  • Connie K
    on Apr 30, 2017

    Hey Dot, found some additional info for you. has some really helpful info. Just in case that, after reading some of the cons of this tree, you want to try something different look up the info for Harry Lauder's Walking Stick (Corylus avellana 'Contorta'). Not knowing where you sited your trees or how much area you are trying to fill, I am making this recommendation only based on the winding branches of the curly willow. The walking stick, sometimes categorized as a shrub, is not as large and probably not as fast growing as your willows but it does have the most amazing branching structure and makes a beautiful specimen planting. I first saw one at a botanical garden we visited several years ago and loved them. Last year I finally got one planted in our landscape and love it. It certainly provokes comments and is so beautiful in winter. It gets to about 10 to 12 feet tall and wide so if you need something really large it won't be the plant for you.
  • Elaine
    on Apr 30, 2017

    I'm sorry to read that as I rooted some curly willow in a glass of water then transplanted to our garden once the roots were a good size and within a few years, it had grown into about a 12' tree. I couldn't believe the rate of growth! I'm wondering if perhaps, the roots weren't formed enough before you planted it outside or as Janet asked, did you have a sudden freeze one night? Did you overwater it?
  • Dot Jones
    on May 1, 2017

    Actually after I posted that I saw some new l saw some new leaf buds at the lower part of the trunk which had not turned black so maybe the tree is okay.
    Still don't know why the upper brances runed black so fast.
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