Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => General Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: KimchiMonger on April 22, 2010, 01:00 PM

Title: Extra Curly Willow Salvage
Post by: KimchiMonger on April 22, 2010, 01:00 PM
A local Master Gardener recently cleaned out part of his yard and I salvaged this specimen sitting in a 40 Gal. plastic pot.  Cleaned it up a lot and need time to study it before further pruning.  The branches bend easily but I've found no information on anyone having success training this variety!  Do the branches grow in the direction wired or will they be snapping back into former or other shape even after months of training?  I dunno!

I have curly willow growing here at home and have used live and dead ornamental pieces but never had one like this.

For now, I'm just enjoying the site of the crazy and beautiful thing after re potting it.  Well, it's beautiful to me.  

Measures approximately 36"Tall by 32" Wide

Do any of you have experience with this specimen as I intend to treat it like any of my outside trees regarding water, feeding, and occasional pruning.  

Thanks for any comments.

Randy S.
Title: Re: Extra Curly Willow Salvage
Post by: noissee on April 22, 2010, 01:09 PM
I don't know if I would do much restyling to this, I think it already has a wild, natural look to it that would be hard to duplicate.
Perhaps just try pruning branch tips to see what kind of back-budding you get.
Title: Re: Extra Curly Willow Salvage
Post by: bwaynef on April 22, 2010, 01:12 PM
It doesn't look like a Salix to me, so do you know what the Latin name is?
Title: Re: Extra Curly Willow Salvage
Post by: KimchiMonger on April 22, 2010, 01:36 PM
bwaynef, the closest description I can arrive at is Salix matsudana var. tortuosa or Corkscrew willow but it has growth patterns not common in photos of much larger ornamental bushes/trees of that family.

I don't really have a "vision" for this tree as I'm currently enjoying what nature's will had in store for it.  Just thought I'd put it out there for any suggestions on "custodial opportunities" on my part.  I understand it was just left to grow all the time it was hidden away and all I've done was take it from a literal ball of contorted branches to this.
Title: Re: Extra Curly Willow Salvage
Post by: Dave Murphy on April 22, 2010, 01:52 PM
That looks like Corylus avellana contorta, also called a Harry Lauders' Walking stick, or Corkscrew Hazel.  Not sure how they do in bonsai culture.  In my experience, they are usually grafted.

Title: Re: Extra Curly Willow Salvage
Post by: KimchiMonger on April 22, 2010, 01:58 PM
Thank you Dave.

Avoiding copyright infringement, I came across this photo and it's spot on: (

The other tell-tale, was plume growth like this! (

They were still quite small and green and falling off so removed during pruning.   Do we have a prize for Dave?  

"Corylus avellana 'Contorta' / Corkscrew Hazel is a form that has naturally twisted growth creating an excellent twisted and distorted trunk and branch structure. (The 'twisting' habit is due to a naturally occurring virus that does no harm to the tree other than to create accelerations in growth unevenly across the width of a shoot. This results in new shoots that cannot grow straight and true."

"This intricate form of our native hazel appeared spontaneously in a Gloucestershire hedgerow in the early 1860s. An eminent Victorian gardener, Canon Ellacombe of Bitton, spotted the tangled stems and propagated the plant to amuse his friend Edward Augustus Bowles.  Once established in Bowles's garden, other famous gardeners admired its sculptural, bonsai-like charms. In the early years of the 20th century it acquired another name - Harry Lauder's Walking Stick - after the popular Scottish entertainer. Yet this slow-growing bush (which rarely reaches 15ft in height) has a Jekyll and Hyde personality. Though handsome in winter finery, its summer "plumage" is a tangle of green leaves." - (

Now that I know what it is I did find tons of Bonsai related information on it!

Title: Re: Extra Curly Willow Salvage
Post by: joe cervantes on April 28, 2010, 10:14 PM
Nice find Randy.