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Author Topic: Sickly weeping willow  (Read 540 times)

Sudanpan

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • West Cornwall
    • Movement is Life
Sickly weeping willow
« on: May 14, 2024, 05:45:22 pm »
Good Afternoon All

We have a weeping willow at the front of our property. We planted it when we moved here in 2008 so it has quite a bit of sentimental value. It has grown really well, from an 8 ft sapling to a well established 20ft plus specimen.

Today we noticed some damaged areas to the bark - no idea what has caused it, it looks like the bark has been peeled off. This then prompted me to look more carefully at the rest of the tree - and it looks, to my inexperienced eye, to be sick. From memory this spring it looked as well as ever when the leaves started to appear and it got fuller over the weeks. But the leaves  seem to be curling with quite a few browned edges/parts of leaf. The ends of the new twigs look like they have been stripped of leaves.
I attach a few photos for further information.

Any clues as to what might be going on and what I can do?


Thank you
Tish

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Sickly weeping willow
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2024, 11:25:30 pm »
I thought at first deer, but then I saw the pic with the box attached to the trunk.  What's in the box?
The damage looks too high to be deer.  Do you have very tall sheep?  They love stripping bark too. Bears? Horse?
If that is the extent of the damage then it's unlikely to be causing the curled and spotty leaves.  It does look seriously stressed.  It's been wet enough so not too dry and willows don't mind being too wet.
I'm afraid I can't help you at all.
On a second look, the bark damage looks more mechanical than animal.  Has anyone been at it with an axe, chisel or saw? I don't think however that the bark will be a problem - it will heal.  It's the leaves that are more worrying.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2024, 11:29:11 pm by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

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chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Sickly weeping willow
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2024, 06:34:04 am »
I think the two problems are unrelated. Looks like leaf curl due to aphids or perhaps a form of mildew. The bark damage is physical abuse, not insects under the surface. The proximity to the box on the trunk may be that something has stood on it and scratched or pecked the bark away. I could guess at a cat trimming its claws?


To add. The bark damage looks recent. I would seal it with the brown mastic-type tree sealer you can buy and apply a thick coat of it with a spatula, which should discourage further damage and stop disease getting under the bark. Can you remove the box?
« Last Edit: May 15, 2024, 08:19:11 am by chrismahon »

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
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Re: Sickly weeping willow
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2024, 09:52:19 am »
Totally unrelated question, sudanpan.  :innocent:   I hope you find out what is wrong with your willow  :fc:, but I am fascinated by your wedding ring.

I wondered if the engraving was a mountain range?
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Sudanpan

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • West Cornwall
    • Movement is Life
Re: Sickly weeping willow
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2024, 10:05:47 am »
Totally unrelated question, sudanpan.  :innocent:   I hope you find out what is wrong with your willow  :fc: , but I am fascinated by your wedding ring.

I wondered if the engraving was a mountain range?


Close, but no cigar! It's actually a piece of Cornish coastline - Godrevy to St Ives which is the bit closest to us. I could specify what I wanted and then the jeweller did the rest.  :D  Originally the 'land' bit was brushed gold, and the sea bit polished gold. The 2 halves could come apart. Over time the brushed gold has polished out and I had the 2 parts sealed together.

Sudanpan

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • West Cornwall
    • Movement is Life
Re: Sickly weeping willow
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2024, 10:07:51 am »
Thanks for the input - I agree on the mechanical damage bit - it occurs to me that we had a tree surgeon on site on Friday taking downa big elm tree (dead  :( ) on Friday and the damage could easily have happened then with branches being moved around etc. Will get the bark sealer 👍


The box is a feeder - been there for years

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Sickly weeping willow
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2024, 01:51:35 pm »
Thanks for the input - I agree on the mechanical damage bit - it occurs to me that we had a tree surgeon on site on Friday taking downa big elm tree (dead  :( ) on Friday and the damage could easily have happened then with branches being moved around etc. Will get the bark sealer 👍


The box is a feeder - been there for years
I've used this website before to help with sick plants - https://www.rhs.org.uk/prevention-protection/leaf-damage-on-woody-plants

RHS are pretty good.  Your photos show what I would think a couple of problems - I wonder if the weather has been the biggest problem?
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Sudanpan

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • West Cornwall
    • Movement is Life
Re: Sickly weeping willow
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2024, 06:41:54 pm »
The weather has been pretty garbage I have to admit. We have had weeks and weeks of wet, wind, drizzle, mist since the beginning of the year. Willows are supposed to tolerate wet areas relatively well but I suppose there's a limit to everything. Where the willow is planted doesn't get standing water, but the water table is going to be quite high as this is towards the bottom of a hill. Our field (which is higher up) has been like a soggy sponge for the 1st part of the year so it might just be too much dank damp conditions for too long.
There are trees in the lane below our garden (mainly sycamore) which don't seem to be in any sort of distress.
Will investigate further. Thanks for the RHS link - quite a few pointers from that seem to suggest water logging

 

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