En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - July 26, 2008

From: Kaysville, UT
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Trees
Title: Loss of leaves from globe willows in Utah
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have four globe willows that have been in my back yard for the past 6 years. For the past month they have been losing their leaves from the bottom up. We had aphids in some of our other trees and were sprayed as well as the globe willows, however, the willows are still losing their leaves. Any suggestions as to why this is happening?


Salix matsudana, globe willow, is a native of eastern Asia. Willows generally are fairly weak, short-lived trees, susceptible to many insects and diseases, as well as dropping a lot of litter. The globe willow is often infected with slime flux, a bacterial disease that is soil-borne. They are frequently found in the Rocky Mountain area, in warm valleys, so while they are not native to North America, they are at least well adapted to the area in which you live.

This Colorado State University Extension The Globe Willow has excellent information on the care and problems facing this tree. Be sure and follow the links from the home page to see "Introduction," "Diseases and Insects," and "Aphids." In the last one, on aphids, follow the link to images of the giant willow aphid. If we saw something that big coming for us, we would probably drop some leaves, too. On that same webpage, there is some excellent advice: Always check with the Extension office in your county or state for specifics on pesticide selections and use. The website for your Davis County Extension office is apparently still under construction, but you can contact them at 28 E. South St., Farmington, UT 84025, phone 801-451-3412.



More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native orchid
January 26, 2009 - I have vanda sanderiana that has wrinkled and yellowing leaves.They are located outdoors, northeast section, plenty of morning direct light and still bright even when the sun is at 3:00 oclock.I water...
view the full question and answer

Advisability of growing Silybum marianum (Milk thistle)
November 26, 2013 - I just received a load of clay-mix-dirt - and after our recent rains noticed the pile sprouting what looks like "Milk Thistle." Lots of them. The leaves are spiny and variegated - quite pretty. ...
view the full question and answer

Non-branching mimosa tree
June 26, 2008 - I have a Mimosa Tree, just about 2 years old, grown from seed. The problem with it is that it has not branched out, it looks like one long branch growing out of the ground, about 5 feet if stood strai...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native indoor plants
October 20, 2007 - My cousin in Pa. asked me to see how to care for 2 plants in the winter. The first is a Voo Doo Lily and the second is a Bengal Tiger plant. If you would please help I would be able to pass it along...
view the full question and answer

Foxglove safety from England
April 21, 2013 - Hi, regarding safety of foxgloves grown near edible plants - foxgloves are good companion plants for vegetables, in case of root vegetables they improve their storage life and quality. Foxgloves prote...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center