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Plant Diseases/Twisted willow trees


Hi, i have 2 twisted willow trees, both about 7 feet in height in wooden planters, the problem is that from about 5 feet, the branches are turning very dark, almost black, as i have only had them for about 8 months, is this normal for the time of year, do i need to prune them back, please help, the wife will not be too happy if they die !!! Any info would be great, dont want to lose them !!! Many Thanks... Tom.


Check a couple of things for me.  Are the blackened twigs still bendable or do they snap off when you bend them? Next, using your fingernail, scratch off about 1/2 inch of bark on a few of these twigs. If the wood beneath is green, this black coloration is probably just a function of temperature and time of year. If the wood beneath is black or dark, you may consider pruning out the discolored sections of the branches. If pruning becomes necessary, locate where the "black" area meets the green, then make your cut about 1" back into the green portion.

Be sure that the planter boxes have a drain hole(s)in the bottom.  Overly wet soil can lead to some serious issues.  You can check a few roots for color.  They should be cream colored or white.  If they are black and crumble or pull apart easily, this may be a sign of root rot.


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Dr Stephen Vann


Plant Diseases and Disorders of Lawn Grasses, Trees, Vegetables,and Ornamentals


Plant Diseases Identification and Management

B.S. Botany --- Miss. State Univ. M.S. Plant Pathology --- Miss. State Univ. Ph.D. Plant Pathology --- Texas A & M Univ.

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