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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.

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

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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

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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.

 

 

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