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Saturday, November 27, 2010

5 Plants With Twisted Contorted Branching

Sometimes twisted zig-zags are more interesting than straight and narrow. While we usually looking for ramrod strigh trunks, clean lines and formal branching, sometimes we want something crazy, contorted and unique. These four plants will fit the bill when you are looking for plants with twisted branching.

Harry Lauder's Walking Stick
Harry Lauders Walking Stick
Corylus avellana 'Contorta'
A deciduous large shrub or small tree with a crazy contorted branching habit. This is a great accent plant or specimen due its multiple seasons of interest. Pendulous yellow catkins in late winter are followed by large crinkly green leaves in spring which turn yellow in fall. After the leaves drop, the true feature of the plant becomes amazingly evident. Its branches turn and twist in every direction. Quite striking when uplit in winter. Grows 10-12ft in height and a similar spread. This plant does best in full sun to part shade.

It is quite adaptable to both dry and moist areas. It is tolerant of urban settings and will even do well in inner city environments. Hardy to zone 6.

Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic'
Red Harry Lauders Walking StickCorylus avellana 'Red Majestic'
A variety of the classic Harry Lauders Walking Stick with red crinkled and ridged leaves. A unique large shrub or small deciduous tree with distinct, twisted and curled branches. Leaves are also twisted and become brighter in fall. Weeping purple catkins hang on bare branches in winter. Ideal as an accent, hedge or specimen. Grows to 7ft tall and wide. Best in full sun. Hardy to zone 3.

Robinia 'Twisty Baby'
Twisty Baby Robinia
Robinia pseudocacia
'Twisty Baby'
'Twisty Baby' is a cultivated variety of Black Locust, a native deciduous North American tree and is an excellent specimen or focal point for the garden. Twisted branching and tightly growing leaf clusters that hang offer unique interest to the garden. Foliage turns yellow in fall. Some spines may be present on the branches. Although it is not a reliable bloomer, when it does, it produces pendulous, fragrant white, pea-like flowers. It is drought and pest resistant. Best grown in sun to part shdae in rich, well drained soils. Can grow 8-10ft in height with a slightly larger spread. Hardy to zone 4

Scarlet Curls Willow
Scarlet Curls Willow
Salix matsudana 'Scarlet Curls'
A fast growing deciduous tree with red to orange winter bark and shoots. Branching is contorted and twisted but maintains a loose, spreading growth habit. Leaves are lance-shaped and bright green. Offers great winter colour and interest. As with all willows, plant them away from underground pipes as their roots are prone to wandering as they seek out water sources. Grows best in sun to part shade. Height 20-30ft. Spread 12-15ft. Hardy in zones 6-9

Corscrew Willow
Corkscrew Willow / Dragons Claw Willow
Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa'
A fast growing deciduous tree (usually multi-stemmed) with an oval rounded crown and corkscrew-like branching. Often used as a specimen in the landscape. Neon green long, twisty foliage appears in spring while loosely contorted branching add year round interest.  A native to China and Korea first brought to North America in the 1920's. Will reach a height of 20-30ft at maturity. Best grown in sun and moist soils. Hardy to zone 4.

Art's Nursery carries over 10 acres of plants, shrubs, trees and more. If there is something new, interesting and unique you are looking for, please feel free to give us a call at 604.882.1201 or visit us in person. We look forward to helping you!


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