Root tips of intact willow (Salix dasyclados Wimm., Clone 81-090) plants were partially dried by exposure to ambient greenhouse air and then kept in water-vapor-saturated air for up to 3 days. The drying treatment increased abscisic acid (ABA) concentrations in both the root tips subjected to drying and in the xylem sap, while it reduced leaf stomatal conductance and leaf extension rate. Despite the decrease in stomatal conductance, leaf water potentials were unaffected by the root drying treatment, indicating that the treatment reduced hydraulic conductivity between roots and foliage. After roots subjected to drying were returned to a nutrient solution or excised, ABA concentrations in the remaining roots and in the xylem sap, stomatal conductance of mature leaves and extension rate of unfolding leaves all returned to values observed in control plants. The 4-fold increase in xylem sap ABA concentration following the root drying treatment was not solely the result of reduced sap flow, and thus may be considered a potential cause, not merely a consequence, of the observed reduction in stomatal conductance.