Bark Damage on Weeping Willow and Afraid Tree is Dying~Any Ideas?

kimmer_2010July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July Everyone!

I have a young weeping willow tree that I love but one of my goats found it and chewed some bark off of it. It is losing foliage and just not looking very good. I inspected it closer and see that where the bark is stripped it is turning black. Does anyone have any advice? THANK YOU so much in advance for any help. I really appreciate it.

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Dan Staley

There is a small chance it may recover. My advice would be to start shopping for a replacement. It has been this way for a while, BTW.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 6:30PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)


Plus, those grow very rapidly around here. Go get a cutting off another and stick it in the ground nearby.

Worse come to worse you can pick between the two in a couple years.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 10:12PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

what about just cutting it to the ground.. and training it back to a single leader???

does that look like a weeping willow trunk to the rest of you???

is there some affection for willow.. rather than a heritage tree of long life??? there are so many problems with willow... in the long run


    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 8:15AM
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I think that is some other cultivar of willow, not a standard weeping.

This is a Niobe Weeping Willow:

Unless you have some silly obsession with growing a huge weeping willow in your yard(who me?), you should look at stronger, longer lived trees.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 5:56PM
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tophers(Z8 - Portland OR)

There is one type of Weeping Willow that I've seen that isn't strongly weeping in it's form at all. Down the street from me is one of them...about 40' tall x 30' wide. The branchlets that are weeping only hang down about 1-2'. My brother has a variety (I don't know which) that has branches that hang down only about 2'...3' max. My Weeping Willow in my front yard will put weeping branches 6-8' long.

Weeping Willows are one of my favorite trees. I love them, but I can also attest that they can be quite troublesome. Mine is 6 years old, about 20' tall x 25' wide or so. It has the long, beautiful branches that sweep the ground. It took about 4 years of training (lowest side branch is about 9-10' off the ground) in order to have a tree that I can walk beneath. I don't mind the small branches and the leaves that fall off. But... it has 2 roots that now interfere with my mowing the yard, plus one of the roots about 10 feet away appears to have grown up against and cracked one of my sprinkler system pipes (I'm digging it up and repairing it when I get home today) and the tree has Willow Anthracnose and some other affliction, which apparantly, together, is considered "Willow Blight". It seems to be bouncing back at this point, somewhat. But it has become a high-maintenance tree.

To Kimmer...I can see why you would want a Weeping I've said, I love them, as well. But I believe that your willow is damaged beyond repair. I would recommend removing it, while it's still small, and replacing it. As others here have said, you should consider what you want in regards to a tree. If you truly do want a Weeping Willow, I would look at buying another to replace your damaged about 5 years time, it will probably be larger than where yours would be in 5 years, if you left it. If you are looking for something that might not be as high-maintenance, there are a lot of choices out there, I'm sure. You can find other threads where there are recommendations for trees, and I'm sure you could find one that suits your needs.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 1:00PM
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My neighbor has 3 weeping willows that sit along the property line. When I first moved into the house, I could not get through my yard w/o getting hit in the face w/ willow branches. After getting permission from him to trim back the trees, I cut the willows straight up from the property line. Despite that, not a day goes by that I don't get willow branches, twigs, leaves dropped onto my yard. Imagine using a reel mower in that area. The ground around the willow is always the first to dry up and crack, so getting anything to grow there is tough. Then one day while digging around my foundation, I discovered a good size root a few feet from my foundation. Sure enough, I quickly severed that root. The point of this story? Unless the willow is FAR, FAR away from the house and you don't plan on growing anything aound the tree, I would get a different tree.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 1:41AM
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THANK YOU everyone for taking the time to give me advice. I really do love this tree, raised from a little tiny tree and it's in a spot where it could have gotten as big as it wanted but it really doesn't look good. I used some of that stuff you paint on to protect it where the bark is gone but not hopeful it'll work and after reading the above I'm even less hopeful. Need to replace it with a tree that everyone (deer included) don't want to eat!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 4:50PM
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If you really love this tree. Take some healthy looking branches and root them and re-plant. Willow are easy to root. The easiest way is to put the branches in a 5 gallon bucket, fill with water, and put in a air stone attached to a $13 fish aquarium air pump from walmart. 2-3 weeks later there will be roots.

You can root willow by planting branches directly in the ground, but you have to keep it watered well.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 8:41PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

Based on the photo, there really aren't any healthy branches left...

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 7:27PM
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My weeping willow has large growths that seem to be rotting. The branches are dying at the bottom, but the top has new leaves growing. Is it going to die, or is there anything I can do to get rid of the disease?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 10:31PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Connie Hammett,

I would strongly suggest that you start your own thread for best response. By starting your own thread:
1. there will be less confusion because your issues will be the ones being discussed;
2. everyone won't have to read through all the old stuff already in this thread to get to your post;
3. when people do a search for things in the future, it will be easier for them to find an appropriate thread without having to read through multiple issues per thread;
4. you will get the responses emailed to you;
5. the original poster of this thread won't be bothered by responses unrelated to their initial inquiry.

Sounds like you may have galls caused by pests or disease. Pictures might shed some light on the situation, but your best bet is probably your local ag extension office. They could examine a specimen first hand and might be better able to diagnose the problem.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 8:04PM
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