Question From: Charlevoix, Michigan, United States
Q: Have a weeping pussy willow tree at the cemetery for about 4 years, this year it did not get the pussy willows on it (it looks like maybe they started) then we got a snow (ice/sand texture) late in the spring, it never had any leaves either and the bark is starting to come away from the trunk. Wondered if maybe it is dead but do not know how I would tell if it was or not. I did cut the weeping branches that were down to the ground back in the summer time and don't know if that had anything to do with this problem.
Trees and shrubs need leaves to make food for them. Your pussy willow is toast. Cutting the shrub to the ground in summer may well have done it in. This should have been done in late winter or very early spring before the shrub leafed out. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy