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

Identification of Cockspur Hawthorn as Crataegus crus-galli
September 05, 2006 - What is cockspur hawthorne?
view the full question and answer

Problems with live oak in Carrollton TX
April 03, 2011 - This past winter was very hard on all the trees in our area in Texas, but added to our stress was the loss of three large Bradford pears just prior to the winter (23yrs old and over 50ft spans of limb...
view the full question and answer

I need a tall tree with kind roots for a narrow space
March 11, 2009 - We have a space in the yard where a building is within 3 to 6 feet of where we would like a tall tree. What tree could achieve two stories in height, while not messing with the foundation of the bu...
view the full question and answer

Identity of wild plum in Childress County, Texas
March 16, 2015 - I have a Wild Plum follow up question. My wife grew up around the Childress TX area. She remembers going around the creeks and gathering Wild Plums for her mother as a child. Would you have any ide...
view the full question and answer

Trees blooming white in Austin area
March 16, 2010 - 3/16/10 What are the trees that are blooming white in the Austin area. They are a full tree and very prolific in the area.
view the full question and answer

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