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Plant Diseases/cherry weeping willow

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Question
Jim,

We purchased a weeping willow cherry tree in May. We live in Alabama and have had a considerable amount of rain this summer. The branches and leaves on top of the tree are curled and brown. It looks dead but at the bottom of the tree there is new growth and everything is thriving. I really have no idea what to do. I've read about fungus, too much water or too little water. I don't have a clue about what kind of fungicide to use. These trees are so pretty and I would love to be able to save this one.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Answer
Sounds like too much water. As long as you have new green growth on the lower part of the tree it will be fine. You can prune off the dead branches to make the tree look better. If you do this first make sure the branch is dead. Start near the tip of the branch and scrape a small bit of bark off. IF the color under the bark is green then the branch is still alive at this point on the branch. IF the color is brown not green then the branch is dead at this point on the branch. IF brown continue down the branch scraping at intervals until you find green or reach the main trunk. you can prune off the brown sections of the branch. It is not a fungus so no fungicide is needed.

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Jim Hyland

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30 years experiance in the ID and management of forest diseases and ID of landscape tree diseases.

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