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

Need help for my Texas Persimmon in Leander, TX.
June 03, 2015 - Help!! My Texas Persimmon is distressed with either bugs or infection. I'm not sure what to do. I wanted to insert a picture here, but wasn't able to. If there's a way for me to submit a picture...
view the full question and answer

Yellow, pale green leaves on Cedar Elms in Texas
August 30, 2008 - I have had several cedar elms of various sizes planted in our yard over the last 10 years. Only the largest has dark green, healthy looking leaves. All the others have yellowish, pale green leaves. Th...
view the full question and answer

Cedar trees dying in CO
July 18, 2011 - We have mature cedar trees at the home we bought in SW Colorado. The large ones have begun to die. Can too much water kill a cedar tree and is there anything I can do to keep them alive?
view the full question and answer

Esperanza with rust spots in Corpus Christi, TX
November 30, 2009 - I have a young esperanza plant and the leaves have what looks like rust spots all over them. What is the cause of this and what can I do for it? My other larger and older esperanza does not have this....
view the full question and answer

Yaupons dying back in San Antonio
April 23, 2009 - I have 4 yaupon shrubs in the same area for several years. This past winter one turned brown from inside to outside very quickly. It is dead but the roots are not loose. The others began doing the sam...
view the full question and answer

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