This question was submitted by Michelle and answered by Advanced Master Gardener Bruce after a site visit, research and consultations with the Master Gardener team.
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Hi! I have some concerns with trees this year and hope it is just due to the crazy weather (despite the fact I watered the young ones 3-4 times per week). I can email pictures if needed, but the concern is that the branches are turning black. All different types of trees, young and old. No signs when we had the late frost. All just started this past week. Thank you!
Hi Michelle I hope you are doing well. I have good news and bad news for you.
The good news, The Maple trees must have been damaged during the late freeze. It should grow out of it by next spring. The oak trees, most likely, suffered physical damage from the winds, the freeze, etc. The tulip tree is OK. May want to monitor your Redbud. It’s only a couple of leaves but it is showing signs that water is not getting to the leaves. A good watering every three to four days should return it to normal. If not, let us know.
The bad news concerns your willow tree. It needs to come out. It has several cankers (lesions) which is causing its decline. The cankers make it possible for insects and disease to get inside the tree and cause havoc. It is fairly common for willow trees to produce cankers. I would not advise getting another willow tree as a replacement. The picture below show the cankers I’m talking about..
I know you plan on adding more trees to your yard. I included a couple of videos that have some tips that will help with your trees health and growth. Contact us next spring before leaves start to form and I will help with your pruning.
Thanks for contacting the Master Gardeners of Hancock County for advice. If you need anything further, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Final comment from Michelle:
Hi Bruce, I appreciate so much that you have taken the time that you have to help me with our situation. I am very grateful! I knew that willow trees could be delicate trees, but did not know what to look for. This has been an educational experience. I made sure to share your suggestions on pruning and staking the trees for support with my husband. I will be in touch for further assistance in the future.
Again, thank you so much!!