Weeping willow - whole limbs breaking off

Asked August 5, 2018, 2:21 PM EDT

I have a 30 year old weeping willow, appeared healthy, in last 4 weeks tree has lost a huge limb plus a few other branches in 2 separate episodes. Inside of tree is now open, some insect damage visible. Location of tree is near edge of a pond which has had high water last couple of years, but tree is above water separated by a 20 year old retaining wall. Did not have high winds. What is causing this dramatic change and apparent death?

Scott County Minnesota

1 Response

Generally speaking, willows are short-lived. Also, willow wood is brittle so the trees frequently drop twigs and small branches. This process accelerates as the trees age or undergo stress during unfavorable growing conditions.

The useful life of an aging willow can be extended by judicious pruning. If you value the tree, consider asking a certified arborist or forester to assess the tree's health and recommend a course of action.

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