En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - June 11, 2008

From: Ada, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Aging non-native weeping willow in Ohio
Answered by: Barbara Medford


We had a weeping willow now for about 15 years and it was doing fine until this summer. It has new branches sort of but a lot of the older ones are dying. There are leaves of course and they are still budding but it looks rather bare. What could be the problem?


According to our research you are lucky your tree has lived that long. It grows very fast, has brittle limbs, and dies fairly young. This subject has come up several times this year, and we would like to refer you to a Mr. Smarty Plants previous question that we think will cover your situation, also. Please note that question was from Georgia, and that the willow is not considered invasive in Ohio, either. However, this USDA Plant profile of Salix x sepulcralis doesn't show it even growing in Ohio, so that's probably why it's not invasive. It would indicate that the temperatures are not good in Ohio for the weeping willow so, again, you are probably fortunate it lived this long.

Perhaps you would be willing to consider a native tree that might serve as a replacement for your weeping willow. We went to Recommended Species, clicked on Ohio on the map, and narrowed our search by clicking on tree for habit, perennial for duration. You can use the same method to make your own selection of trees or shrubs, and then go to our native plant suppliers site, type in your town and state in the Enter Search Location box, and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape professionals in your area.

Carpinus caroliniana (American hornbeam)

Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)

Hamamelis virginiana (American witchhazel)

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Carpinus caroliniana

Carya ovata

Hamamelis virginiana

Ilex opaca

More Non-Natives Questions

Pruning of Grape Kool Aid Plant in California
August 03, 2008 - I have a Grape Kool Aid plant and was told it would grow to 6 or 7 feet tall, but it is well over that and I need to know if I can prune it and if so how?
view the full question and answer

Florist Gloxinia Care
October 01, 2015 - Got a florist gloxinia and it was doing great for months. Went on vacation and returned; it was wilted. Think son watered it too much. Allowed it to dry. It has some new leaves forming on the very leg...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native indoor palm in Guilford CT
April 08, 2012 - My question is I have an indoor palm plant that I have had for 7 yrs. It has grown from about a 5" plant to about 3' tall plant. The past few weeks the leaves are turning yellow & brown and lost abo...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of non-native, invasive English Ivy from Davidsonville MD
March 19, 2014 - Just moved and need to rid the well established Ivy planted on the steep slope area around the back and side of the house as it is taking over the bushes on the top and trees in forested area at botto...
view the full question and answer

Plants for hanging baskets in Austin
October 06, 2009 - Can you suggest some plants for winter hanging baskets in the Austin, TX area?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center