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Can a corkscrew willow be kept small?

We bought a couple of corkscrew willows yesterday with the intention of putting one in a corner of a smallish border and one next to a wall by a pond.

I know they are very vigorous and can grow huge, but if we prune harshly every year would we be able to maintain them at around 1.5 meters tall and around a meter spread or should we rethink?

Luckily we also have some woodland so we could just plant them there and let them do their thing.


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,585
    You do know they need lots of moisture and their roots will actively seek it out.  Mine is planted in the shallow end of an unlined pond.

    It will grow at least 2'/60cm a year but I expect it could be kept trimmed by stooling or pollarding like many other willows grown for weaving or drainage.   
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    Keeping a potential 30ft tree at under 6ft seems rather cruel! Always reminds me of those tiny shoes that Chinese women suffered bound feet to wear.
  • D0rdogne_DamselD0rdogne_Damsel Saint Yrieix La Perche, Haute Vienne/Dordogne border. FrancePosts: 3,726
    Having just paid over 800€ to have 3 removed, they were enormous, only been in the ground just over 10 years, I'd be very wary of planting it where it might out grow it's space. They are also have very fragile/brittle branches and we were forever picking up bits of curly branches off the ground, might affect your pond. Lovely trees but definitely very vigorous. What about acers instead, I've got a few lovely small ones that grow slowly and controllably? 
    "To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul." — Alfred Austin
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,585
    @K67!!!  They didn't bind their feet so they could wear small shoes.  Their feet were bound to deform them (including breaking bone) so they couldn't run away from their lives as slaves, concubines, chattels, 3rd class citizens.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    Yes @Obelixx I didn't phrase my reply too well I did know that but it was supposed to be a viewed as a comparison rather than a history lesson! 😁
    Maybe I should have gone down the corset route?
  • Thanks all. Woodland it is then :-)

    Back to the drawing board for the two spaces we need to fill.

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,278
    They won’t like woodland, too dry and shady for them.
    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,585
    Corsets it is then @K67 altho some of those were so tight they made women faint and I believe some died.   My mum grew up in the age of roll on girdles to hold up stockings and taught me from a very young age to hold in my tum so I would never need one.

    No wonder I think of Bonsai as cruelty to plants.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Actually, you fall short in support of Chinese women Obelixx - they weren't Third Class anything - particularly not Citizens, they were nothing at all, scarcely there. 
    That sort of attitude travelling along the Silk Road to all the Arab countries ancient and modern - but before anyone chimes in with all the nonsense usually wheeled out about 72 virgins - nothing like that sentiment is in the Quor'An. Moslim's frequently get a bad press for impressing women into sexual relations too early and many other questionable practices  but one has to view that in terms of history. If you read the story of Ruth in the bible, she is to be - hahaha - ruthlessly sent back to her home country after her husband of many years dies. No widow's pension back then and if the woman couldn't find another husband - she'd literally starve to death. As it was she had to "glean the fields" that's pick up individual grains of barley the reapers left behind - and in doing so catches the eye of the field owner!!!  Muhammad came along and recommended that this had to stop and that every man that could afford to do it should marry these "spare" women but importantly "take them into your house as your sister." 
    Before anyone get's too critical of foreign treatment of women - have a read of the bible and remember every word has H.M. Queen Elizabeth's blessing right now. Defender of The Faith.  
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 31,602
    IMHO Religion is the root of many of our woes. It certainly isn't the solution.
    The followers of no religion have been immune to Covid, so it's fair to say all that praying has been a waste of time.
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