Weeping willows regretted
I have sentimental memories of a big yellow willow tree that I climbed as a child. Thus, when we got our little place in the country and I saw weeping willows advertised, it reminded me of the tree of my childhood and I decided that we should have a couple of them.
I knew that weeping willows are often listed as undesirable trees because they are prone to ice damage and because they like to run their roots into perforated drain pipes, but for some reason, I didn't think that my weeping willows would be that way.
I planted them in a part of our yard where water sometimes stands in wet weather, thinking they would help dry up the ground. The willows grew quickly there, and within five years, they were big, beautiful trees.
Then an ice storm took a huge bough out of one of them. My husband was gone to the war in Iraq at the time, so the kids and I had to clean it up and we finally finished with it by the end of summer. The next winter, another big limb came out of the same tree. This time, it was nearly half the tree. We finally got that mess cleaned up by the end of the next summer.
And I haven't even mentioned how the willows have their roots all over the top of the ground, making it very difficult to mow around them!
A few days ago, I was out in that part of the yard, and I noticed that the entire side of that same weeping willow tree is covered with shelf fungi. The presence of fungi means that the tree is dead in that area, of course. I expect that the entire tree will be dead in another year or two and then we'll have the problem of getting rid of it.
The other weeping willow is doing fine so far. But I wouldn't be surprised if it starts breaking apart at any time.
Update, July 27, 2013: Both weeping willows are still living despite repeated, extensive damage in storms.