Diseased Salix Shrub


Hello Master Gardeners,
thank you for providing an opportunity for people to obtain knowledge about plants.

My house came with this shrub (see pics attached) and we have had it for over 14 years now. It has grown significantly over the years however we trim it every year to ensure it does not cast shade upon the rest of our garden. This year for the first time I noticed dying branches, they have turned black and the leaves have disappeared. Upon further investigation, I noticed a strange beige coloured blight-looking infestation along the inner base of the branches. This is not a tree, but a shrub. In the past we have seen it retain its leaves even throughout winter. More pictures can be provided.

Please help us identify the name of this shrub and its condition. What is the recommended treatment?


Thank you contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.  The shrub is most likely a species of the salix or willow family.  Without observing the shrub directly, it’s impossible to make a definitive diagnosis of the shrub’s disease.  It appears to be a fungus of some sort.  Fungi can cause major issues or even the death of shrub. Since the damage seems quite extensive, you might consider consulting with an arborist to identify whether it is appropriate to treat the shrub or remove it.  Landscape Ontario has a list of reputable arborists.