En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
2 ratings

Monday - July 27, 2009

From: Salt Lake City, UT
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Trees
Title: Replacement for a globe willow tree
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe and Nan Hampton


We are interested in replacing a pine tree with a globe willow because they grow fast but everything i have been reading about them scares me. is there another tree comparable to a globe willow that grows as fast with less bugs and disease?


The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center researches and teaches about our native species, working to promote their use and re-establishment in their ancestral native ranges. Since Salix matsudana (globe willow or corkscrew willow) is a native of China, it is outside our sphere of expertise, but we'll give you some native options to explore as alternatives. Natives planted in their preferred habitat are suited to their local growing conditions, and perform to their optimum.

There is a previous query about the tree you are considering, Salix matsudana (globe willow). Follow this link to read the earlier answer. As you have found in your reading, Globe Willow is fast-growing and has attractively-colored foliage, but suffers a variety of problems from weak limbs and short life span to pests and disease.

Here are some native alternatives:

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash) and more information and photos

Acer grandidentatum (bigtooth maple) and more information and photos

Populus angustifolia (narrowleaf cottonwood) and more information and photos

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow) and more information and photos

Ptelea trifoliata (common hoptree) and more information and photos

Diospyros virginiana (common persimmon) and more information and photos

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Acer grandidentatum

Populus angustifolia

Chilopsis linearis

Ptelea trifoliata

Diospyros virginiana



More Trees Questions

Problems with non-native Callery Pear tree from Louisville KY
June 03, 2013 - I have a Cleveland select that has a bark issue. It is on its second season and I just saw this. It looks like the bark is bubbling up kinda and then wants to peel off the main trunk. I have a picture...
view the full question and answer

Would like suggestions for a tree or bush to be given as a memorial gift for friends in Austin, TX.
April 26, 2011 - Hello, I would like to give a memorial gift of a tree and/or bush native to the Austin area to friends living there. Any suggestions? Local vendors would be appreciated also. Thanks very much!
view the full question and answer

Should Texas live oaks be mulched under drought conditions?
July 19, 2011 - Should we mulch our live oaks in pastures for water retention?
view the full question and answer

Flower color under large pine tree from South Elgin IL
April 05, 2013 - I have a very large pine tree that I would like to plant some flowers under. I have hostas, stonecrop and fern, but like to add some color. What do you suggest? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Pollenless Cedar Elms for Georgetown, Texas
September 28, 2010 - I am considering planting the Cedar Elm tree at my home in Georgetown, Texas. I was under the impression that only the female of the species produces the irritating pollen. Is this true?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center