Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Monday - June 15, 2009

From: Hampstead, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: What is wrong with my Weeping Willow?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a weeping willow tree for about 7 years. It's about 50 feet high and the bark is separating and it starting to drip and collect on trunk bottom a suds type substance. Looks like soap suds. The tree is about 40 % less dense then previous years. What do you recommend?

ANSWER:

Weeping willow, Salix babylonica is a native of China. While it is much-loved for its elegance when healthy, it is notorious for its many problems. Any number of insects, bacteria,  and fungi also love weeping willows. Moreover, the fast-growing tree has very weak wood which is highly susceptible to breaking, especially during high winds.

The Michigan State University Extension has published a bulletin describing disease problems with willows, and this issue of Hortiscope from the North Dakota State University Extension Service has a list of questions along with answers from people who are having troubles with willow trees that could prove helpful.

It is very difficult, if not impossible to diagnose plant disease problems unless you can actually look at the plant. I am suggesting a source of help closer to home; the  office of the University Maryland Extension in Carroll County. This is the second question regarding weeping willows from Carroll County this week, so something may be going on up there.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

One wax myrtle declining in Austin
April 20, 2011 - I have 3 wax myrtles in a row; two are doing fine and one is looking "sad". It is thinning and when I checked a few branches they were dead, I pruned it and it was dead. I have had the trees for 7 y...
view the full question and answer

Problems with red oak trees in North Central Texas
July 13, 2013 - What is the disease effecting Red Oak trees in North Central Texas; causing them to lose leafs in Spring/Summer and turning the remaining leaves light yellow/lime green in color. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Recovery of water-stressed Agarita
August 11, 2014 - Hello! I planted a small agarita at the end of May and then left town for six weeks. During that time it was supposed to receive weekly deep irrigations to help it establish, but it seems that som...
view the full question and answer

Leaves falling off recently transplanted mature Mountain Laurel
July 05, 2006 - I have recently purchased a Mountain Laurel for my backyard landscaping. It is a fully matured ML standing over 9 feet tall by 6 feet wide. Since it was planted (about 6 weeks ago) it has been losin...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on yaupon in Ft. Worth
April 23, 2009 - I planted a Pride of Houston Yaupon Holly in January in full sun. It is blooming little white flowers right now for spring, but a lot of leaves are turning yellow. Do you know what is causing this? ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.