En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Decline of non-native weeping willow

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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - June 30, 2008

From: Breckenridge, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Transplants
Title: Decline of non-native weeping willow
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Breckenridge, Texas and last year I planted a Weeping Willow tree on my property. It grew fine and seemed to be very healthy until this month. All of a sudden it has steadily lost all its leaves. They just gradually fell off from the tips of the branches on back to the trunk. I cannot find anything wrong with it, no dryness, no insects or anything I can identify. Can you give me some suggestions as to what I might try to help save this tree? Thanks for your time.

ANSWER:

It sounds like transplant shock, from your description, even though the tree has been in the ground a year. A tree may go perfectly in a site, but is still going to need some coddling for the first year or so it is in the ground. Texas is having an excessively hot, dry Spring and early Summer, and weeping willows are considered water trees. I hope you have a hose that reaches that far; otherwise, you're going to be hauling buckets of water. You will need to monitor the moisture in the soil very closely, and drip water slowly from a hose stuck down in the soil around the roots.

Although there are 54 members of the Salix genus that are natives to North America, the weeping willow, or salix x sepulcralis, is not one of them. It is a hybrid of the Chinese Peking Willow and European white willow. This USDA Forest Service website has some more information on the weeping willow, including the fact that it is considered invasive in several states, and they don't show it growing at all in Texas. But what do they know? The same site says that the tree is susceptible to several diseases and insect damage, so, hopefully, your tree didn't come with some problem that is now emerging. We also found an ad for a "Texas weeping willow" which may be what you have, but it didn't give the Latin name for the tree, so we have no idea what that is. Here is a page of images of salix x sepulcralis.

Since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the planting, protection and propagation of plants native to North America, we don't have any information on this tree in our Native Plant Database. Hopefully, watering as we recommended will perk your tree up. If you feel there may be a disease or pest problem, you might contact the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Office for Stephens County. This website has contact information, phone numbers and instructions for finding the office. Sometimes being on the scene and able to examine a plant "in person" can detect a problem that we, at a distance, cannot.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Expected color of non-native crapemyrtles in Natchitoches LA
August 04, 2009 - just bought 8 new crepe myrtle trees that are suppose to be dynamite red in color. However, the few bulbs that are on them when you break them open they are white! Does this mean they are going to be ...
view the full question and answer

Snow damage to non-native Japanese maple in Oakdale NY
December 29, 2009 - My beautiful 10 year old miniature Japanese Maple was damaged by heavy snow this year. Two of the biggest limbs cracked under the weight of the snow and are just barely hanging on. Can I repair them...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native Desert Rose (Adenium obesum)
August 08, 2006 - I was given a desert rose and i'm looking for general information about planting, watering, how much sun it needs etc. I hope you can help. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Promote blooms on non-native plants
June 11, 2008 - I am trying to promote blooms on my several types of flowering scrubs and ornamentals, but not having much luck. I have used Miracid SuperBloom occasionally but not sure I am using enough, yet I may ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native crape myrtle resistance to deer from Annapolis MD
April 06, 2013 - Is Crape Myrtle tree resistant to deers? Thank you.
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center