Susan S
by Susan S
This tree was started about 5 years ago from a stem which had been cut off another tree. Now look at it!!!
My question: Is the bark and trunk supposed to look like this?? Kind of gnarly and like the bark is peeling off? It seems to be perfectly healty when you look at the leaves.
See how rough and rugged this looks? Is this norma?
I did snip all the new growth off (just the other day) I have it in water - we'll see if it sprouts new roots - which is how I came by mine!! (gee - HOW did Cleo get in there??? - she's everywhere LOL)
  12 answers
  • Walter Reeves Walter Reeves on Jun 22, 2012
    The top looks healthy but I can't see the bottom of the trunk. Tree could have been planted too deep.
  • Susan S Susan S on Jun 22, 2012
    I need a clarification about a response @ Walter - does pics 2 & 3 not give a clear enough view? I thought it showed the trunk down to the soil level but I'll see if I can get more angles tomorrow. I just wasn't sure if Curly Willow naturally had a really rough & rugged trunk - I don't remember it looking quite as bedraggled as this in years past. This tree is about 5 years old.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jun 23, 2012
    The bark is more fissured than I've seen on other willows. We need to see where the tree meets the ground.
  • Susan S Susan S on Jun 23, 2012
    Here ya go - more pics to aid in the diagnosis. I decided to see if the bark was as loose as it appeared and it just pulled right off - no effort needed. Then behind one piece was this cottonie stuff - looks like its probably a cocoon of some sort. Could this be part of the issue??? (The last picture)
  • Walter Reeves Walter Reeves on Jun 23, 2012
    As I suspected, planting depth may be the root of the problem.I don't see the first major root flaring away from the trunk as I should see. That said, the top looks healthy. I'd keep it as long as it's attractive. The cocoon thing is nothing to worry about.
  • Susan S Susan S on Jun 23, 2012
    @Walter: Planting depth - hmmm! When we first planted this it wasn't much more than a stem which had rooted in water, so we planted it about 2 feet out from the side of our house - but as it turned out - still way too close to the a/c unit. So - we dug it up and found a huge root had made it's way under the pipes which unfortunately necessitated in "chopping" that big boy in half to free up the tree. We tried to be very careful about the width & depth rule and it looked perfectly fine until I noticed what was going on w/the trunk this year. Did I "kill it with kindness" after all??? I had NO IDEA this would be a tree - I thought it was just a bush initially. Guess I should have researched then!! Also, I hope I'm right in cutting off the succors/suckers?? that started at the base? I've put them in water hoping they'll root as well.
  • Jill P Jill P on Jun 23, 2012
    I have rooted and transplanted many cuttings, but found it best to do in early spring (Feb to Mar). A greenhouse I checked with said they only last about 10 years so I always have some to replenish. My bottom branches are more wispy. I always prune and keep the dry dead branches for floral pieces & they come in handy to grow vines like morning glory & moon flower!
  • Susan S Susan S on Jun 23, 2012
    Jill - thanks for THAT info. I had no idea a Curly Willow had such a short lifespan. Mine was accidental in that when I was working, our floor designer brought some in to put in tall vases on table tops. Well, a month or so later when she was changing things out, there were roots formed so I brought it home and planted it - twice. Had to move it because I had absolutely no idea this was a "TREE"!! Dumb Dumb - I thought it was a bush!!
  • Linda R Linda R on Jun 24, 2012
    We had a huge Curly Willow at our old house. It must have been at least forty feet tall. The bark always looked extremely rough and we found an abundance of locusts on it's trunk.
  • Sharon B Sharon B on Nov 11, 2012
    Just love these trees, like decorating with them......use to use the limbs in a lot of dried things I made, they make a beautiful wreath too
  • Chris T Chris T on Oct 21, 2014
    Just stumbled across this post. Our curly willow is only 6 years old & is HUGE (tall) . We just stuck a stick from a friend's tree into our backyard without rooting it first. I know we are on a high water table so maybe that's why we had such good luck with this tree. My bark looks really healthy.
  • Fro1739767 Fro1739767 on May 27, 2015
    We have a tree that is not doing well, my husband trimmed the tree a couple of months ago now its dying what can I do to save my tree.