Answer: Unfortunately, willows (Salix) are potentially subject to a number of problems including fungal infections and cankers and often are not as long lived as we might like. Cankers can certainly affect these trees and the affected parts should be pruned away and any clippings destroyed. You can protect the tree somewhat by making sure it is adequately fertilized. If the canker affects the trunk and girdles it, however, the tree will die. Since this is a fungal infection it would be better to plant something else in that location. You might want to check with your county extension (825-1721) for a more definite diagnosis and suggested remedies, if any, based on a firm identification of the problem. I'm sorry about your tree.
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