Although easy to grow, curly willow requires a watchful eye during its first few years. It is vulnerable to the issues faced by all willow trees, including crown gall, black canker, and borers. Keep it well watered and cared for to prevent problems. But don't expect curly willow to live for decades; its flame burns quick and bright, perfect if you want a large tree but are unable to wait 50 years.
Curly willow is popular for indoor decorations. Branches cut in the wintertime can be hung with holiday ornaments and fairy lights. Cut stems will dry and last indefinitely. To create the luminary pictured above, designer Mark Kintzel placed a small vase inside a larger vase and inserted curly willow in the space between the vases. At the base of the inner vase, he put a battery-powered votive candle. Try it yourself, and soon neighbors and friends will be knocking to get a piece of this useful, attractive tree to create their own decorative masterpieces.