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I am new to here and new to gardening in general but we plan to do something with our garden this year!
I have what I believe to be a twisted willow tree which is about 6foot tall. I have no idea how to care for it, it has looked after its self since we moved in 3 years ago.
I need to move it to another spot as it is currently in the middle of the patio in a 3ft square area with an Acer. It appears to have 2 trunks, one of them is all curly, the other one splits into 2 and 1 branch is curly and the other is straight? Is this normal?
What is the best way to move it?
The best time to move it is autumn or winter when it is dormant and the roots can recover without the stress of having to pump up sap to the foliage. You then just dig it up and put it ina well prepared new hole, firm it in and water it. Well prepared means already dug deeper and wider than teh root ball and with well rotted garden compost or manure or other soil conditioner to help improve the soil so it establishes quickly.
If you must move it now, dig it up with as big a root ball as possible as soon as possible. Plant as above, and water it every week, come rain or shine, till next autumn's leaf drop. Willow take up a great deal of water and it won't like drying out.
As for the straight stems, these need cutting out every year after leaf fall which is when you can see them best. You can still do it now if you're quick but the sap is rising now and it may bleed a little.
Try to disturb your acer and its roots as litle as possible but, just in case, work in some soil conditioner round its base and water it well too.
Thanks very much. The Acer also needs moving but they can wait til Autumn is that would be better, I don't want to kill them! Does the willow need to be pruned? Do I cut the straight stems out from the ground?
We moved a twisted willow about 12 years ago, I had a guy with a mini digger when I was initially doing this garden. I'm afraid we just scooped out a hole and dropped it in. About 4 years ago it fell over, so I persuaded some strong men to come and lift it up and we supported it with a strong branch pruned from something else with a 'Y' shape at the top which is tied on. So it has had an eventful life, but still survives. I think they must be pretty tough.
Yes, prune the straight stems out now from the base of each stem.
As Obelixx advises, remove straight stems. the twisted willow has been grafted onto a different rootstock, and the straight stems are from this. They will eventually take over. I doubt if you will get any shoots of the twisted cultivar coming up from ground level, so remove them as soon as you see them. If you can, remove them up close to the root underground.
The straight and curly bits come from the same big stem at the bottom? Do I just hack off the straight bit and hope it won't damage the curly bit? or get rid of both and leave the other all curly one?
A word of warning- make sure you put it somewhere suitable as they can get very big over time. I grew mine from a twig no fatter than a pencil, that I cut off my Mum in laws tree. 40 years later it was 40ft tall with a trunk that's 18inches across at waist height. We had 10ft taken off the top 2 years ago to reuduce the shade, but it is still a magnificent specimen.
Diggingdoris, this worrys me! It is currently about 8foot away from the house, we moved here 3,5 years ago and it has grown although not hugely. How fast do they grow? and should be be concenred that it is so close to the house?
You may be able to see the knobbly scar formed at the graft, and if so then the stright stem should emanate from just below the scar and the curly one just above the scar. In any event, just remove the straight one, close to the trunk, as cleanly as you can with a sharp blade.
Please can you add a pic to this thread.
From your description it sounds like Corylus avellana contorta... a twisted Hazel.
It is prone to sucker from the graft below ground level.
All straight growth from below ground, must be removed or you will have a plain Corylus avellana. An ordinary Hazel tree. See this pic which shows suckers....
that looks just like it Silver Surfer! See how clueless I am, I just believed what someone told me it was a willlow and I just believed them. I will try and take a picture now once the rain stops!
Having had another proper look at it it appears I made a mistake. The straight bit is actually off a separate trunk (the right hand one in the 2nd pic), they are abit attached to each other which made it look otherwise. So I would need to dig it all up to get rid of the straight bit?
As Silversurfer said, hazel. What was the clue there SS? I missed it
how big is a hazel likely to grow?, could I put it in a big pot?
Don't panic Olivedog, that's not a willow, just a hazel, with those catkins. It will probably grow to about 10ft maximum depending on the variety. It still may be wise to move it away from the house a bit though. Good luck
Sorry for all the questions! So shal we dig it up now, separate the straight from the curly and replant furhter away from the house?
Glad to help.
1st cut the straight bits off... right down at ground level.ASAP.
Difficult to be sure if it is a sep plant ./OR all one.
Twisted hazel are often grafted on to the roots of ordinary hazel.
You have done well to get so many lovely catkins.
It is an ugly shrub/tree in summer with sick, ill twisted looking leaves.
Fab in mid winter with the beautiful tracery of the twigs.
If you have any more questions please add a picture... it really helps with id.