Herbs

Weeping willow - recognizing and fighting diseases

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In particular, fungal diseases can severely affect the weeping willow. We show you which diseases can occur and how you can treat them correctly.

© A. Bueckert - Fotolia.com

The weeping willow (Salix alba Tristis) is one of the robust plants that is rarely attacked by diseases and pests. While weeping willow pests can not be dangerous, some fungal diseases can damage the willow tree. This creates different types of damage, which require different countermeasures. For example, while the willow rust only reveals visual impairments, diseases such as willow scab require the courageous intervention of the hobby gardener. In the following, you will find out which damage patterns occur on the weeping willow and how they can be effectively combated.

❍ willow scab

If a weeping willow is affected by willow scab, it initially shows little abnormality. Only individual parts of the plant appear discolored and thickened. However, the fungus spreads very quickly and the whole tree can fall victim to it without countermeasures. If intervention is neglected, countermeasures no longer help and the tree must be completely cleared.

The willow scab is caused by the fungus Pollaccia saliciperda. Leaves, twigs and shoot tips can be affected. Infested leaves wither and remain on the tree. If the fungus migrates from the leaves to the tips of the shoots, they turn black and die. This entire process only takes a few days. It is believed that the fungus excretes toxins, which lead to the rapid discoloration of the shoots.

The infection usually occurs in early summer. The young leaves and shoots are particularly vulnerable. The fungus can hibernate on fallen leaves or survive on sick branches. New spores are formed in spring and new infections occur.

" Tip: All types of willow can be affected. Babylonian willow or Salix Americana are particularly badly affected.

➛ What to do

If the thickening mentioned at the beginning can be recognized, it can help to give the plant potassium and phosphorus immediately. The infected leaves must be removed and disposed of. It does not belong on the compost because the spores survive there. Burn the leaves or dispose of them with household waste. In the case of heavy infestation, special fungicides are used.

Infested pastures often regenerate themselves by forming new shoots.

❍ Marssonina disease

Leaves, shoots and branches are also affected in this fungal disease. The disease can be recognized by growths of up to three centimeters in length on the young shoots. These dark ulcers burst over time and suggest violations of the crop due to hail damage. The pathogens also overwinter in the leaves and in the tree bark.

➛ What to do

Diseased parts of plants can be removed generously. The fallen leaves must be collected and completely disposed of. The spores survive on the compost and further spread the disease. Burn the leaves or dispose of them with household waste. The use of chemical pesticides will only be necessary in severe cases.

❍ Top drought

Growths on the shoots can also indicate a drought tip. The fungus Marssonina saliciola is considered to be the cause of this disease. The spores hibernate on the leaves or on the ground. The willow is then repeatedly infected in spring.

➛ What to do

All infected parts of the plant must be disposed of. Also collect all the leaves from the ground so that there are no new infections. The infected plant parts should be burned immediately. Chemical fungicides are used in severe cases.

❍ Galena

Only young weeping willows are usually affected by this fungal disease. The disease can be recognized by whitish, shimmering parts of the plant. The trigger is the fungus Stereum purpureum. If the trees are not yet robust enough or have already weakened, they are particularly susceptible to infection.

➛ What to do

The diseased and lead-like shimmering parts of the plant should be removed immediately. With additional additions of potassium and phosphorus you strengthen the crop and accelerate the regeneration. Since generally weakened plants are affected more often, the addition of manganese and iron also contributes to general strengthening. Do not use commercially available ready-made fertilizers, as this usually contains too much nitrogen.

" Tip: Do not use nitrogenous fertilizers.

❍ Prevent diseases through proper care

Appropriate care measures cannot prevent every plant disease. However, the fact is that there is an increased risk of disease afflicted plants that are already weakened. You get strong plants if you place the weeping willow in a sunny and free location. The plants feel most comfortable near water. Moisture should not be saved. The floor should not dry out. You can also water it extensively and with the garden hose. One hour is a minimum.

The plants need a nutritious, loose soil. The weeping willows receive the necessary nutrients through regular composting. The plants are sufficiently hardy and do not need additional protection. However, if you keep your weeping willow in a bucket, you must be careful not to freeze it. Overwinter the weeping willow in a cool room in the house and don't forget to water it a little every now and then. Young plants also need winter protection in the form of brushwood or leaves as cover.

With these care measures, weeping willows remain strong and healthy:

❀ sunny place
❀ Unique position
❀ regular watering
❀ adequate nutrient supply
Schutz Winter protection for tub plants

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