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 native Senna lindheimeriana
September 28, 2008 - I asked a question about pruning a Texas Senna tree. The Texas Senna I have is either a S. wislizenii or a S.lindheimeriana. It is a beautiful tree that I purchased at a Texas Native Plant nursery. ...
view the full question and answer

Pruning lower branches of Cordia Boissieri from San Antonio
December 08, 2013 - My Texas Wild Olive Tree is about 6 feet high now. I bought it at the 2012 plant sale. This past summer it put on new branches near the base of the tree which I would like to cut off (to encourage u...
view the full question and answer

Pruning a Young Cercis canadensis (Redbud) Tree
April 05, 2014 - I have a redbud tree that was transplanted when very young (five years ago). It just started budding last year. It is growing very well but the branches are low. It's like it's growing out instead o...
view the full question and answer

Cutting Juncus effusus back from Bellevue WA
November 18, 2010 - I read your posts about Juncus effusus and just have one follow-up question. When is the best time to cut them back to the ground - before winter or early spring? I live in the Pacific NW. I recent...
view the full question and answer

Shape of common ninebark in Canton MI
April 24, 2010 - I have planted one center glow ninebark in a triangular area in between my front walk and driveway. It looks a little odd just having one plant, but I originally did this b/c of the mature plant heig...
view the full question and answer

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