Golden Curls Willow, Salix matsudana tortuosa
The Golden Curls Willow, also called Corkscrew Willow by some, is a fun and interesting tree with an elegant and graceful appearance.
This Golden Curls Weeping Willow is in my front yard. At the end of the growing season, I always trim it up about as high as I can reach. Took this photo in early April and by the end of June if not sooner the new growth reaches all the way to the ground and I’ll trim it up again. I trim this tree about three times each growing season, but trimming it is easy and when it’s weeping almost to the ground it is very eye-catching. And . . . I’ve also three swings that hang from this tree during the summer for the grandkids.
I promised you a summer photo of the Golden Curls Willow. If you look closely I’ve replaced one of the kids’ swings with a swing for Grandma and Grandpa! Pam loves the new swing. I mounted it as high in the tree as I could so it has plenty of travel when it swings.
Golden Curls Willow is an interesting plant because it was discovered by my late good friend and horticultural genius Charlie Beardslee right here in Perry, Ohio. Charlie found this somewhat crazy-looking plant with its contorted branches twisted like a pig’s tail growing on the edge of his pond behind his nursery. So he just left the tree right there on the edge of the pond, but he immediately started taking cuttings and propagating his new find. From those cuttings, he took more cuttings, and from those, he took even more.
And in a relatively short period of time, Charlie had produced over 100,000 of the Golden Curls Willow. Then he put the word out about his find and the plant buying world went crazy and Charlie had no problem whatsoever selling those 100,000 plants and Beardslee Nursery as well as thousands of other nurseries around the world are still reproducing this plant by the hundreds of thousands of plants each year. Could be millions a year, I don’t honestly know.
The Golden Curls Willow is a fast-growing tree and unlike most trees, it will tolerate wet ground. It does well in hardiness zones 4 through 8. The twisted branches are so interesting that they are often sold to floral shops to use in flower arrangements. If this tree has a negative side, like many willows it drops a lot of dead branches when the wind kicks up. Most are so small I just run them over with my mower, a few I have to pick up. In the spring I usually have to rake up around the tree.
It is a vigorous grower, and because of its weeping effect, it will weep all the way to the ground. Two or three times a year I go around mine, underneath, and trim it up to as far as I can reach so it looks like a really large umbrella when I’m done.
I just bought the small Golden Curls Willow that you see in the top photo. My intention is to plant it over at the nursery and from that single plant, I will eventually take thousands and thousands of cuttings. Think about that. I paid around $20.00 for that plant. I will reproduce that one plant over and over and over, probably until the end of my days.
Do you have any idea how much I, or you can make from a single plant? My late friend Charlie grew 100,000 of them before he told anybody that he had it. And that was in the late 1960s as I recall. Then he and his son, and grandson have gone on reproducing and selling Golden Curls Willows for almost 40 years now. It truly is a hot seller!
But these kinds of opportunities are not limited to just the Golden Curls Willow. You can do this with just about any plant that is not patented and there are thousands you can choose from.