If you have a weeping willow tree on your property, you know that this tree requires a lot of care. The weeping willow tree grows quickly, but has a relatively short life compared to other trees. The lifespan of the weeping willow is only about 30 years. During the tree's life there are many pests and diseases that may attack it. The best defense against them is proper maintenance. Willows require a lot of water, space and pruning.
Examine your tree, paying special attention to the leaves and the bark on the trunk and branches. Look for discolored or fallen leaves, peeling or weak bark, or an abundance of a particular insect. Use an online resource—such as the website of University of California's Statewide Integrated Pest Management System—to determine if the tree is suffering from a fungus, a bacteria or a pest.
Spray your tree with a fungicide—the recommended treatment is usually an approved fixed-copper fungicide—if your tree is suffering from a fungal disease. Black spots, yellow spots or white powdery residue often indicate a fungal disease. Follow the directions on the fungicide and application timing instructions found on the website for best results.
Prune trees using pruning shears to treat bacterial infections. Prune all of the infected branches that you find on the tree. Never place the infected branches or leaves in a compost pile, which may allow them to spread. Burn the leaves and branches immediately after removing them.
Apply an insecticide to your tree for a pest infestation, which may cause the leaves of your weeping willow to develop holes. Leaf drop is another symptom of pest infection. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions found on the insecticide.
Water your weeping willow tree with a garden hose during dry-spells. Weeping willows require a lot of water to stay healthy. Taking proper care of your weeping willow tree is an important factor in making a sick tree healthy again. A two-inch layer of mulch placed around the tree will help keep moisture in the soil.