August 19, 2021 at 12:00 am Reply
Hello everyone! First time posting. I recently got into trying to grow willow trees (weeping, corkscrew, and hybrid) I’ve cuttings with some really good growth but two of them have started losing leaves and have some red spots on their branches. I’ve been regularly watering them but not drowning them. I’m guessing it might be willow scab as that’s what I think it looks like but I’m not sure as I’m not too experienced. Any help on identifying the problem and fixing it would be appreciated! I’d hate to see them die after all the growth they’ve put on.
Im in USDA zone 6 for reference.
thanks in advance!August 20, 2021 at 7:26 am ReplyGerrygoluckyPrivate messageExpert gardener
Love the title… “for no reason”… for us gardeners that usually means “it’s not my fault this time!!!” 😛 😛 😛
I agree with you, it sure looks like the beginning of scab (or canker, technically). Obviously the first line of treatment – cutting infected branches off – isn’t what you’re hoping to hear in this case…
Two ideas that come to mind to try and defeat this still-young fungus:
- if you have any bordeaux mix handy or another copper-based fungicide, dab a tiny bit with a brush or delicate fingers on the infected parts
- another tip I use against seedling downing off is simply grated wood charcoal, it works wonders there, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work here, too. Just crush a few blocks into fine dust and sprinkle it or pat it onto the branch.
I haven’t had willow scab yet, but on seedlings and cutting this kind of stuff works well since you can really apply it perfectly.August 20, 2021 at 12:59 pm Reply
Thanks for the reply! Haha yes I agree with the “it’s not my fault this time”, I previously had willow cuttings that died (except for one) when I transferred them from water to soil so I know that I definitely didn’t do anything this time.
I’ll give the copper fungicide a try! Should I cut the branches off and apply it, or apply it and see if it helps before cutting them off? Thanks for the help!! 😀August 20, 2021 at 3:10 pm ReplyGerrygoluckyPrivate messageExpert gardener
For me, no need to cut anything off at this point. Go ahead and apply it without removing any growth.
also, I noticed your cutting’s pot was deep inside another pot. While this is great during the rooting phase, now it’s detrimental since moist air stays sitting, this typically makes fungus more aggressive. Maybe you can lift them up a bit so the air circulates better?August 20, 2021 at 6:33 pm Reply
Perfect! I’ll apply some and see how it goes! Oh I just had the small pot sitting in the big pot while I took the photo haha. I was getting that bigger pot ready to transfer red maple cuttings when they’re dormant in a few weeks/months. Thanks for the heads up though!
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