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Salix x sepulcralis

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Question from Maria Richardson


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I have had tree for two years and seems to be doing OK except recently when I have noticed the leaves are turning yellow with brown/balckish marks on them. Also stems have got brown scabs. Does anyone know what this is and how I can treat. Is it a fungus. Thanks.

  • Views: 1031
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Sun. 23rd May 2010 11:33

Re: Salix x sepulcralis

Reply from Katy Elton

Hi Maria,

This could be a number of things, but the initial things that come to mind are the diseases ‘willow anthracnose’ and ‘willow scab’. Both are fungal diseases. Willow anthracnose causes brown spots and lesions to appear on young leaves and stems, which then die back and become distorted and twisted. Willow scab causes irregular dark spots on young leaves and stems which enlarge until the area becomes shrivelled and black.

Do either of these sound like what you’re seeing? Salix x sepulcralis is supposedly fairly resistant to willow anthracnose, but this doesn’t guarantee it won’t be affected.

As they’re fungal infections, you might find that they clear up as the weather gets drier and warmer. Most trees recover on their own, so there shouldn’t be any need for intervention on your part. Simply collect and burn any fallen leaves, and maybe prune out any particularly infected stems, but not so many that the shape of the tree is affected.

If you want an expert opinion you could always try sending a sample to the RHS pest and disease identification service (if you’re a member).

Hope this helps!

  • Posted: Tue. 25th May 2010 16:43

Re: Re: Salix x sepulcralis

Reply from Maria Richardson

Thanks Katy. It does sound as though it could be the willow scab. I will keep an eye on it and follow your suggestions re burning fallen leaves and pruning.

  • Posted: Tue. 25th May 2010 19:47