The Q&A Archives: Dappled Willow

Question: Are Dappled Willows known for transplant shock? Of the five I bought this year, two look ok but the other three are very brown. Two of these three look dead. They were planted in partial sun about ten days ago and we waited about a week to plant them, keeping them in their pots but placing them in the area they would eventually be planted. Should I trim the brown areas back? (Only about 10% of two of the plants have any green.) They are being watered regularly. Can they be overwatered?

Answer: Based on your description I am not sure what has happened to your dappled willows. They do need an evenly moist soil and will be happy in wet soil, too, so overwatering should not stress them. Transplant shock is a possibility, as well as drying damage from wind for example if they were brought home in an open truck or allowed to dry out while waiting to be planted. You need to make sure you have watered them thoroughly so that the water is soaking into the soil throughout the entire deep root area. If the branches are still alive I would wait and see if they can releaf, keeping them well watered in the meantime. Live wood will be supple and there is green inside the bark. Dead wood will be brittle, off color, dull gray or brown, and no green inside the bark. Any dead wood can be removed. These plants are also subject to fungal infections and some other diseases which could cause them to look like they have dried out. So I would suggest you also consult with your retailer since they are brand new to try to figure out what has happened. Good luck with your willows!

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