Crack willows used to seem eternal. If part of the tree fell down it commonly put down new roots and started over. Unfortunately this resilience masks a flaw. Like English elm, Crack willows are genetically very uniform. This means that if disease strikes one tree, it will strike all its neighbours too.
And now not one, but three fungal diseases are killing off our big willows at an alarming rate, encouraged by the mild, wet winters.
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