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

Thursday - August 13, 2009

From: Detroit, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Pruning, Trees
Title: Corkscrew willow damage to roof in Detroit, MI.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a corkscrew willow (Detroit, MI) that is huge and whose branches hang on top of the asphalt shingles of my mobile home. It has now been discovered that these shingles, under the branches, are disintegrating. Could this be due to the exudate from this corkscrew willow?

ANSWER:

The Corkscrew willow  (Salix matsudana) has become a popular ornamental tree in the U.S. due to its contorted and twisted branches and twigs. The winter branch pattern is especially interesting interesting. However, since it is non native to North America (its origin is China), it lies outside our expertise here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center where we focus on  and  encourage the cultivation, conservation and preservation of wildflowers and other native flora throughout North America.

If the limbs of the tree are actually in contact with the shingles of your home, I think that a combination of accumulated leaf litter holding moisture and the rubbing of the branches on the roof would be enough to help deteriorate your shingles. 

Once you have replaced the damaged shingles, you might consider checking out this site for tips on pruning the lower branches of your willow tree.

 

 

 

 

More Pruning Questions

Pruning Cuphea Plants
February 04, 2013 - The David Verity cuphea (cigar plants) that I planted last spring are now 3-4 feet high. I would like to move them, but before I do they seem to need pruning. All the branches are brown and dry lookin...
view the full question and answer

What about the brown dots on my Silver sage?
June 27, 2008 - During the past year, the leaves on my silver sage bushes around the perimeter of the front of my house have turned yellow in places and there are tiny brown dots on virtually all of the leaves. If I ...
view the full question and answer

Care for indoor ivy from Carollton TX
January 26, 2012 - I have an indoor ivy that is on a pole. The pole is breaking, and I need to separate the ivy from the pole with the least amount of trauma to the plant. How should I do this? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Runaway growth on mountain laurel in Coolidge AZ
July 01, 2010 - I have 2 mountain laurels. They are thriving well. In fact one is growing way too fast. I am growing it as a tree, but the branches are in excess of 6 feet, while the trunk is only 18 or so inches. I ...
view the full question and answer

Trimming of penstemon after bloooming from Austin
April 30, 2012 - I planted a penstemon in my backyard last fall and it's doing great. Once the flowers have bloomed, do I cut the stalk back? It is about 2 ft tall and doesn't appear to be doing anything. I belie...
view the full question and answer

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