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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Thursday - May 14, 2015

From: West Memphis, AR
Region: Southeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Willow Tree Early Leaf Fall
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I have a weeping willow tree and it put out great leaves this Spring and looked great, but now here in the middle of May all the leaves are turning yellow and falling off like it does in the fall. So I don't know what is going on or why or what to do about it. The tree is about 10 years old and we never had this happen before.

ANSWER:

Even though weeping willow (Salix babylonica) isn't a native tree here is some advice that might help solve your problem. There's something unusual happening to the tree this year to cause the leaves to turn yellow and drop prematurely. Since the situation is causing all the leaves to do this, I suspect that something is amiss with the roots or the tree was subjected to freezing weather. Has the tree been floodded and the roots covered with standing water for many hours? Was there a greater than 6 inch layer of soil fill placed over the roots? Did the tree become subjected to below freezing temperatures one night in April or early May? Try to think back to any unusual earlier weather situations for the cause of the tree problems. Another suggestion is to have an arborist look at the tree once you have done your investigation.

 

 

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