How to treat willow tree diseases
Willow trees belong to the salicacae family and are classified to the genus salix. They have narrow leaves and are found in very many different species. Willow trees are woody, they produce flowers and are used mainly for landscaping. But today they are being used for different purposes like the making of ornaments, medicinal purpose, its branches are used to make baskets and its pulp for making paper. The willow tree does well in the cool moist soil and it can therefore be planted along the river banks to prevent soil erosion. However, just like all other plants, this good and very useful tree is attacked by different pests and organisms that cause diseases and infections. Early and proper diagnosis is the best to prevent the willow tree from being damaged by the willow tree diseases. A willow tree owner should protect his trees by being informed and taking good care of them. The following are some of the main willow tree diseases and their recommended treatments.
Types of willow tree diseases
There are many different willow tree diseases that attack the willow tree. The following are the main and most common willow tree diseases.
- Crown gall: this willow tree disease is brought about by bacteria that cause small round growths to appear on the stems and the roots. This disease may be moderate or severe and in some cases it causes stunting, discoloration of the leaves and die back. It also makes the willow tree prone to other willow tree diseases that take advantage of the decaying galls to enter the tree.
- Willow scab: this disease is caused by fungi that attack the growing leaves, branches and the twigs. It is characterized by olive green spore masses that tend to appear on the veins that are found on the leaves underside. Willow scab can sometimes occur with black canker.
- Black canker: this is a serious willow tree disease that is caused by the black canker fungus in combination with the willow scab fungus. It presents itself as dark brown spots on the affected leaves, gray whitish lesions that have black edges and appear on the stem and twigs. It also causes die back, defoliation and death of the affected tree.
- Foliar diseases: there are several foliar diseases like tar spot, powdery mildew and rust that affect the willow tree. Powdery mildew brings about a white powder like coating in the leaves, tar spot causes black spots to appear on the leaves and rust causes yellow spots to appear on the underside of the leaves.
How to treat willow tree diseases
The above mentioned willow tree diseases can be treated in the following ways;
- Crown gall: there may be no proper fungicide that can be used to treat the crown gall willow tree diseases but it can be controlled when it attacks to prevent it from spreading to other willow trees. It is controlled by pruning, isolating and damaging all the affected parts of the tree and if it has affected the area near the soil and the trunk, get rid of the tree and do not plant another tree in the same area.
- Willow scab: it is treated by the application of the appropriate fungicide, pruning the affected areas away and destroying them far from the other willow trees.
- Black canker: pruning the affected areas and cutting the cankered spots away followed by the spraying of a recommended fungicide to the infected willow tree are the best treatment for black canker.
- Foliar diseases: foliar are diseases are caused by fungi and can therefore be treated with fungicides.
Prevention of the willow tree diseases
The best way to prevent the willow tree diseases from attacking is through taking good care of the willow trees. The following are the measures that can be taken to prevent the willow tree diseases from attacking.
- Prune the willow tree often to maintain tree health and to provide good air circulation for the tree.
- Use the recommended type of fertilizer in the right quantities.
- Use a bio-stimulant for the young and growing willow trees as it heightens the stress tolerance and promotes good root growth.
- Plant the willow trees in healthy and loose soil.