The Q&A Archives: Pussy Willow

Question: I moved in this house last November and there is a weeping pussy willow tree out front, it was bare, then in spring it had little buds, then little fuzzies, then beautiful green curly leaves, then about two weeks ago it starting wilting, then the leaves turned brown and totally dried up. I have tried giving it severel deep waterings, but is it gonna come back around or is it a seasonal thing, what should I do? It looks fairly young and stands maybe 6- foot tall. Please give me some options.

Answer: Sudden wilting is never a good sign! Willows love water, but it sounds as though the vascular system has collapsed, keeping moisture from traveling to the leaves. Just to rule out some potential problems, cut one of the stems off and check for discoloration within the wood. Bacterial Twig Blight leaves brown streaks in the wood. Leaf blight is another destructive disease of willows. The best treatment at this point is to cut away the infected stems and branches, cutting down to healthy wood. Remove and destroy the pruned plant material. Routine pruning of Pussy Willows will promote the production of new flowering wood. In this case it may also save your tree.

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