The Q&A Archives: Brown Leaves On Dappled Willow

Question: I just purchased a Monrovia Dappled Willow Salix integra "Hakura Nishiki". The weather here has been unseasonably cool and some of the new pink growth (leaves) are brown. Perhaps they were touched by some unexpected light frost. I would like to know if I could trim off the unsightly new growth and what would that do...Will it make new growth, or would it make the plant bush out? It is quite light and airy now and I don't really want to make it bush out unnaturally. What should I do?

Answer: Browning could be caused by a variety of things including frost and underwatering .... The plant should continue growing and eventually the new growth will conceal the damaged leaves. This plant is relatively dense and shrubby as its natural shape, so it will probably be filling in somewhat on its own regardless. You could trim off the branch tips now to tidy it up, however this would cause some additional branching below the cuts. If the frosting or drying was severe it will have killed back the tips and will cause branching on its own. If it is not too extensive perhaps you could just rub off the damaged leaves with your fingers.

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