Pussy Willow question

slr8May 30, 2011

Sorry if this isn't a good place to ask this question; if you have a better idea, please let me know.

I have a weeping pussy willow that was planted last year and did very well. It was a very hot summer and the top of the tree started to turn yellow (I think) and I wondered if it was a little unhappy. Then this year, spring was two weeks late to come and so it flowered its catskins on one side, and then it got cold and by the time the other side tried to flower, the right side ones were going to seed. So after all that, the leaves came and now the top is sparse of leaves, while the bottom 3/4 of the tree is full and beautiful. Any thoughts? Should I fertilize? Water more this summer (supposed to be another hot one)? Will it recover next year and be prettier. Thanks in advance, everyone

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louisianagal(z7bMS)

If you decide to fertilize you might consider using 1/2 strength or 1/2 the usual amount. Or better yet, fertilize with organic fertilizer or compost. I would definitely water if it has not rained weekly. I would mulch several inches deep and all the way out to the drip line, but not up against the trunk of the tree (leave a few inches circle around). It sounds like it was stressed and should recover if it is planted in an area that usually has favorable conditions for it (sun? shade? drainage?). I have a new dogwood, and I don't think I watered it enough last year when it was newly planted. I thought it was a goner but it bloomed this year.
Also make sure your tree is not being bumped or hit with a mower or string trimmer. That kills lots of trees.
Laurie

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 10:40PM
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slr8

Thanks so much. I haven't mulched or fertilized this year but plan to at least fertilize. Mulch seems to be a lot of money and I have a lot of garden. I could just mulch around the tree to help it. This year it has rained so much it was quite unseasonal. So last year, being a really hot summer, I obviously didn't water it enough last year. I will help it along this year and hope for a good comeback next year. I only fear that it is too late for it. ???

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 5:38PM
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trovesoftrilliums(5)

You might be able to get free tree trimmings that have gone through a chipper shredder from your town, local energy company (they have to trim trees from powerlines) or a tree service company. They will not be as polished looking as the bagged type, but they will serve the same purpose.

Goodluck!

I also have a willow that is suffering--I think it dries out too much. I moved some of them to a lower spot in my yard and they do better there it seems.

If you are having the same heat wave we are, I'd give it a bit of extra water and hope for the best. I tend to avoid fertilizing when plants are stressed unless I can identify a nutrient deficiency. Are the only new leaves turning yellow (chlorosis)? Only old leaves (nitrogen deficiency) or all the leaves in one location of the tree?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 6:03PM
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