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?

Share

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

Thursday - June 04, 2009

From: Jersey City, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Care of non-native Betula pendula 'Youngii' (Young's Weeping Birch)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We planted a Young's Weeping Birch on the side of our house here in NJ a few weeks ago and it seems to be thriving. When we purchased Fred (which is what we've named our youngster), he was in a pot and has a stick about three feet to keep him straight. He has started to droop where the stick ends and is currently about five feet tall. If we would like Fred to grow to about 8 to 10 feet tall, should we change the stick to a long stick and train him to that height and then let him droop? Or should we let him droop the way he is now and if so, will he grow to 8 feet high? One last question, some of Fred's branches are now trailing on the ground, since we took him out of the pot, he is now lower to the ground. I've read that you shouldn't trim a birch due to the insects it attracts in the summer, but I wasn't sure if it's healthy to have his leaves trailing on the ground either. Thoughts?

ANSWER:

Our expertise and focus at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America and Betula pendula 'Youngii' (Young's weeping birch), a European native, is NOT native to North America. It, and other varieties of Betula pendula (European white birch), have been used extensively as landscaping plants in North America, however, so there is lots of information concerning its care.  Please see the following links for more information:

Birch Tree Care

How to Grow and Maintain a Healthy Birch Tree

You can find even more information sites by googling "Betula pendula Youngii'" or simpley "Betula pendula".

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native Ruellia brittonia in Raleigh NC
August 23, 2009 - I have discovered Mexican Petunias this year. I LOVE THEM! Beautiful plant. However, they are so tall and after a rain are leaning badly. Should I tie them back? Will they get stronger as they ma...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of invasiveness of blackberry bush
March 27, 2008 - I bought a blackberry bush from Home Depot last year. My sister said if I planted it in the ground it would take over my lawn. So I put it in a big planter up against my fence, but I'd like to put it...
view the full question and answer

Care of desert willows
September 10, 2007 - We have three desert willows. Two are doing well, but the third, which was planted at the same time as the others, is about 1/3 the size of the other two, the foliage is thin, and the leaves have dry...
view the full question and answer

Removing invasive Dichelostemma firecracker plant from Austin
April 12, 2012 - We have dichelostemma firecracker plant & cannot kill it. We need help in getting rid of this plant. Spent another 3 hours digging up corms this afternoon. It is invading our backyard & want it kil...
view the full question and answer

When should I plant bermuda grass seeds?
February 10, 2010 - When should I plant bermuda grass seeds?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center