This has been going on for about 3 weeks

Asked August 11, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

My pussy weeping willow tree. Leaves look like they are either not getting enough water or they are drying like fall I have it in a large woodbox and its got good drainage And I water it well. Help the bark looks fine it looks like it wants to but out new leaves

Randolph County Illinois

1 Response

Thank you for sending your question to us at eXtension.

Willows and several other trees typically will drop leaves "ahead of schedule" in late summer. This is usually the plant's response to hot, dry weather. The plant is not necessarily stressed, at least not dangerously so, but the plant apparently has more leaves than the roots can support. It will drop the excess leaves, which will first turn yellow and brown.

I don't know what the weather has been like in your part of Illinois, but while the spring was wet down here in southern Indiana, it's been hot and moderately dry throughout most of the summer. My weeping willow tree, as well as my tulip poplar, have been dropping leaves for a few weeks now. It's normal, for the most part, as long as when you look up into the tree, it doesn't look visibly sparse.

If you'd like to send us some photos of your plant, you can attach them to this web page or email them to me directly.