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

Adjustments to soil level change around tree from Austin
May 29, 2014 - I am moving in to a new construction home in south Austin, builder has leveled the ground and sodded the front yard, I have a post oak in the front and because of the changes to the landscape the tree...
view the full question and answer

Native magnolias in MD
March 16, 2011 - We live in Chevy Chase MD. Three tulip magnolias planted three years ago as part of a hedge died during the blizzard conditions we experienced the winter following their planting. This year as well w...
view the full question and answer

Lopidea on Texas Mountain Laurel from Austin
April 16, 2012 - How do I get rid of the Lopidea ALL OVER my Texas Laurels and boring into the seed pods?
view the full question and answer

Looking for a specimen shade tree in San Rafael, CA
June 04, 2013 - I'm looking for a specimen shade tree that can get 30'x30', that doesn't drop a bunch of crud (seeds, etc) on the patio (leaves are ok), medium to low water requirement, roots are behaved, zone 9,...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen for privacy screen in Northern California
October 19, 2012 - Hello, My neighbor just logged their property and we need a very quick growing evergreen shrub/tree (for privacy of ugly cabin) that grows to at least 10' -15' tall. We live in northern Cal. about ...
view the full question and answer

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