Hi! I’ve planted two branches from a weeping willow. The tops turned black to brown and thought they were dead. I saw new growth at the bottom, should I cut the dead tops off?
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your inquiry.
Willows thrives in open, sunny conditions and loves damp but well-drained soil. The roots will seek out water, so trees should be kept well away from drains and septic tanks. Like all trees, willow should be kept at a distance from building foundations, water pipes and sewer lines.
Ideally when starting a willow from a cutting you should select a healthy branch that is at least 1/2-1″ in diameter and about 10-15″ in length and place these shoots in a bucket of water. The advantage of rooting in water is that you can be sure that the cuttings have developed roots before planting.
From your photograph it does appear as if the top of your shoot is damaged and will not send out any new shoots. I would remove the dead, brown portion down to where the healthy green green portion of the twig.