What Is Corkscrew Willow Tree Growth Rate?

It grows as fast as all other willow varieties – no surprises here!

Corkscrew Willows Grow

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You can be the envy of every neighborhood with this funky and fun tree. With the Corkscrew Willow, it will no longer be the old and boring next-door tree. Instead, it will be a unique tree, boasting branches that curl, curve, and twist again. It has solid green leaves, which are also somewhat twisted like its branches.


Fortunately or unfortunately, it is rare to spot a tree that grows this fast. Did you know that this tree could actually grow up to three feet every year. Yes, you heard it right. That’s how fast do corkscrew willows grow.


Well, more on this later. We will address this and a few more questions in this guide. But, before we discuss that, we will give you a little peek into this plant.

In This Article:

  1. Water
  2. Soil and drainage
  3. Fertilizers
  4. Light
  5. Temperature
  6. Pruning
  7. Pests
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Final Word

    About Corkscrew Willow

    Anyone who loves willows can consider planting a corkscrew willow tree. Botanically Salix matsudana ‘Tortuosa’ is different from the most common willow tree variety a.k.a weeping willow because these trees have an upright form.


    You will see the plant’s twigs and branches initially growing almost vertically before they switch to more horizontal growth. Its branches have a twisted appearance, employed in dried floral displays.


    The corkscrew willow tree growth rate is fast, and you will see the tree growing between twenty and thirty feet with a 15-20 feet spread. You can expect the plant to grow over two feet annually in the right location with the proper care and the environment.


    During summers, the plant’s branches dance and put on a show as the wind blows. In the winters, it is their curly shape that excites the onlookers. But, like every other willow, it is a short-lived plant with brittle branches, susceptible to breakage. It can thrive in USDA zones four through eight.


    So, if you reside in an area that receives massive ice storms or winds, you may experience constant breakage in the branches, resulting in dead branches.


    You may love how fast do corkscrew willows grow, but they can also be destructive with their invasive roots, inflicting damage on the sewer lines, sidewalks, and patio. So make sure to plant it away from the house, street, or driveway. Its constantly falling branches may also induce damage to property underneath.


    Lastly, keep them away from hard surfaces or plumbing lines and ensure that the soil is slightly moist to prevent its roots from wandering.


    However, it is salt-tolerable, deer-resistant and low maintenance. It also does not need much pruning. Overall, a corkscrew willow can make a beautiful landscape specimen in the correct location with the proper care.


    How Fast Does A Corkscrew Willow Grow?

    Willow trees have a quick growth rate. The corkscrew willow is also a fast grower with a growth rate of two to three feet per year. Hence, the plant reaches its mature size very fast.


    How Long Does It Take A Corkscrew Willow To Grow and Mature?

    Courtesy of the rapid growth rate, corkscrew willow adds twenty-four inches or more per year. Thus, it reaches its mature height of 25-30 feet with 15-20 feet spread in only 10-15 years.


    How to Care for A Corkscrew Willow Tree for Better Growth?

    Here are some care guidelines to help you grow your corkscrew willow better.


    1. Water

    Even though the corkscrew willow is relatively more drought-tolerant than the other willows, it does have special water needs. If you do not want to indulge in a frequent watering schedule, you should consider planting where the soil is moist for most of the year, for instance, in the lowest end of your lawn, where the rainwater collects.


    Alternatively, you can also plant it in the rain garden. In any other case, consider watering your established plants every once a week with about an inch of water.


    But, if it is a newly planted corkscrew willow, you need to water it multiple times a week to ensure that the soil surrounding the root zone does not dry out. The roots are somewhat established after the first year, so lower the watering to once a week after that.


    2. Soil and drainage

    For a good corkscrew willow tree growth rate, the plant needs well-drained conditions in moist soil.  Corkscrew willows prefer a moister condition and do best in sandy, loamy, or clayey moderately fertile soil. However, in clayey soil, they are susceptible to root rot, and in sandy soils, the water absorbs faster, demanding higher water frequencies than typical.


    3. Fertilizers

    All things considered, how fast do corkscrew willow trees grow can be predicted on the basis of nutrition the tree is being provided. So, if the soil lacks apt nutrients, it may show stunted growth. Even considering that, the corkscrew willow is not a heavy feeder, employing a balanced fertilizer with NPK 10-10-10 formula in early spring can do wonders. But you can skip the fertilization if your willow is in a fertilized lawn.


    4. Light

    Corkscrew willow thrives in a sunny location. It enjoys partial sun to part shade conditions as well.


    5. Temperature

    It is a hardy plant, well-adapted to the cold temperature. But, it does not thrive in too hot or humid conditions.


    6. Pruning

    Though corkscrew willows are not very demanding, you should prune them annually to eliminate any diseased or dead branches. Also, chop off all the branches that run against each other.


    Pruning can also help eliminate the branches to open the tree and let enough light sink in. Following a storm, make it a point to remove any broken branches to avoid damage immediately.


    7. Pests

    Gypsy moths are a common problem for corkscrew willows. The moths appear as tiny caterpillar-like insects from early summer to early spring and consume the plant’s leaves.


    However, horticultural extension offices do not recommend controls or sprays. You can combat the severe gypsy moth infestation by placing sticky bands around the trunk.


    Anytime the young moths crawl up the trunk and travel to the leaves, they get trapped in this sticky tape and die. Aphids, too, may lay eggs on the lower leaves. However, they do not inflict any damage.


    Related: Desert willow growth rate

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Ques 1. How long does a corkscrew willow live?

    Ans. Compared to other trees, the corkscrew willow has a short lifespan. They live between three to four decades only. When the Corkscrew willow is nearing its end, it begins to die back in the branches.


    Ques 2. How far do corkscrew willow roots spread?

    Ans. Compared to the weeping willow, the corkscrew willow has a shorter spread (fifteen to twenty feet opposed to the twenty-five to thirty-five feet of the former). Also, its roots are less invasive but can be problematic after a few years as the tree grows older.
    Final Word

    Overall there are many pros and cons of growing the Corkscrew willow in your home grassland. It’s beautiful fall color, excellent branch structure, and how fast do corkscrew willows grow make them a desirable landscape specimen.


    With this willow variety, anyone planning a garden for four-season hobbies cannot go wrong. But, its short lifespan and weak trunk can be disheartening for homeowners. Regardless, it is a fun addition to your garden if you can offer it the needed care.