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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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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!

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Saturday - May 23, 2009

From: St. Johns, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Disease problems with non-native Globe Willow
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Globe Willow - Is exuding a white frothy foam/sap at several locations. What is this and how can it be stopped?

ANSWER:

Thank you for your question. While we would like to answer all questions we receive, Mr. Smarty Plants' expertise is limited to plant species native to North America, their habitats and cultivation. Limited resources require us to decline answering questions that delve into other areas. We hope you understand.

Non-native to the United States, Salix matsudana originated in Southeast China. Willows are weak-wooded, fast-growing and, therefore, short-lived. They have aggressive roots, can lift sidewalks and interfere with sewer lines, often growing on soil surface, making a problem with mowing. Willows are susceptible to a number of pests and diseases, and notorious for littering the ground below. We found a website that specifically deals with this species of willow, and mentions the frothy foam you are experiencing: Colorado State University Extension The Globe Willow Salix matsudana

 

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