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

Control of live oak suckers by cutting
July 23, 2007 - How do I control the Live Oak root suckers? At the moment we are cutting them as they come out of the ground.
view the full question and answer

Fertilizing oaks to produce acorns
January 16, 2012 - Will fertilizing oak trees help with acorn production?
view the full question and answer

Bald cypress trees for yard in Mackinaw IL
September 14, 2010 - We are looking at planting a few bald cypress trees in our front yard. I have heard of the extensive root system that these trees have and wonder how far away from a septic system and the house found...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on Mexican Plum in Salado, TX.
July 24, 2013 - I do live in Cental Texas (Salado) and I have the same problem with my Mexican Plum as the lady in Bellaire, TX. Mine was planted in June in a raised bed and receives sun all day long. Within the la...
view the full question and answer

Problems with transplanted Texas Madrones from Junction TX
May 13, 2014 - We planted 3 little Texas madrones last year 9 - 12 inches high. 2 of them seem to have some kind of black blight along the edges of the leaves that I don't think was the result of our late freezes. ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center