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Problems with Salix Erythroflexuosa

greenlovegreenlove Posts: 164
I bought this Salix a couple of years ago and last year the leaves started to wither and die and some of the branches were going black. This year is doing the same. In spring it releasses new shoots with about 7-8 leaves and then it starts to wither and die. It is planted in a tall pot and watered regularly. Is it diseased or am I doing something wrong?


  • greenlovegreenlove Posts: 164
    No one knows what the issue might be?
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,034
    I think it's a fungal disease.  The commonest disease of willows is called anthracnose.  You often see it on Kilmarnock willows, those weeping "pussy willows" lots of folk have in their front gardens - but the RHS says S. erythroflexuosa is resistant to it.  My suspicion is that your plant is under stress through being in a smallish pot; this will make it more susceptible to fungal attack.  Willows have extensive root systems and need a lot of water.  I think I'd cut back the black bits, collect up and destroy the fallen leaves, and repot it in a large container (assuming you can't plant it in the ground) in fresh soil-based compost - something like John Innes no.3 - and keep it well fed and watered.  Fingers crossed!

    If you google "RHS willow diseases" you'll get the low-down on possible treatments.  
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 4,467
    edited June 2018
    Agree with  Liriodendron.....I really do not think willows like to be kept in a pot.
    At the end of the day this is a tree that will grow to 8m easily and .. fairly quickly.
    Normally the roots go far and wide seeking moisture.

    Salix × sepulcralis 'Erythroflexuosa' used to be called.Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa Aureopendula'×+sepulcralis+'Erythroflexuosa'&client=firefox-b&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj02-OgyNDbAhVELVAKHbumCdQQ_AUICigB&biw=1920&bih=943

    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,189
    Weak plant owing to shortage of water.  Mine is planted in a pond and is happy as Larry.

    If you can't get yours in the ground, give it a pot twice the size and a saucer and water it every day during the growing season.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • greenlovegreenlove Posts: 164
    Thank you very much guys. It seems i am making a habit of liking trees that grow rather large. I will either have to curb my enthusiasm or buy a house with large plot of land. 
  • greenlovegreenlove Posts: 164
    Reflection after a month: I think I was unknowingly killing the tree by not watering it very often due to assuming that it didnt like too much water. I started to water the plant every day quite generously and the difference it has made is unbeliavable. The tree is healthy and growing superfast. Silver Surfer was right when saying that they grow fairly quickly. I will replant it in a very large pot but I think I might do that next year. Here's a picture of the tree now:
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 84,046
    What a difference a good drink and some tlc can make  :D

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • greenlovegreenlove Posts: 164
    What a difference a good drink and some tlc can make  :D
    Now, where's that bottle of gin? :D
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 84,046

    Plenty here ... help yourself  ;)


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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