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 - September 10, 2009

From: Greenville, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native weeping willow in Greenville NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We live on the border of Zones 5b and 6a and have a weeping willow that grew so much in only 3 years and did quite well. However, there are aerial roots growing on its bark as well as part of the bark came off of the lower trunk. Underneath it was infested with water beetles. Are they harmful to this tree? In addition, there were at least 2 feet, in length, of roots growing under the discharged bark. While I believe the aerial roots are normal, are the roots that were/are under the bark normal? Should we take steps to get rid of the beetles? Should we cut these roots as they are now exposed on the south side of the tree or just leave them? Thank you very much. I really appreciate and welcome any suggestions you may offer.

ANSWER:

Thank you for your question. While we would like to answer all questions we receive, Mr. Smarty Plants' expertise is limited to plant species native to North America, their habitats and cultivation. Limited resources require us to decline answering questions that delve into other areas. We hope you understand.

Non-native to the United States, Salix x sepulcralis is a hybrid of a Chinese species (Peking willow) and a European species (white willow), and is said to grow in Zones 5 to 8 in the United States. It is weak-wooded, fast-growing and, therefore, short-lived. It has aggressive roots, can lift sidewalks and interfere with sewer lines, often growing on soil surface, making a problem with mowing. It is susceptible to a number of pests and diseases, and notorious for littering the ground beneath it. You might check out this University of Florida Extension website on Weeping Willows for more information as well as this Q&A from North Dakota State University Extension on weeping willows.The UBC Botanical Garden Forum is also a good source of information on non-native plants. 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native crepe myrtles in Coleman, TX
March 06, 2009 - We want to plant 2 white crepe myrtle trees on our family cemetery plot in Coleman TX. Once they get established, they will be pretty much on their own. Wind and sun are abundant. Rain is scarce. ...
view the full question and answer

Survival of non-native windmill palm in Zone 6b
March 28, 2009 - Will a windmill palm survive a Zone 6b Michigan climate; if so would I have to wrap it up in burlap in wintertime?
view the full question and answer

Newly planted Burford Holly doing poorly in Austin, TX.
July 25, 2011 - About a month ago I bought dwarf burford holly. Now they have slowly started getting brown leaves that eventually fall off. Some of the plants have white spots on the ends. I usually check my plant...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native althea in White Oak TX
June 10, 2011 - I have an althea bush that is 2 years old. I have never had a problem with it before but this year only half of it has leaved out and is blooming. The other half has some very small leaves and very sm...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of non-native nectarine tree from Lakeway TX
December 16, 2010 - Could you describe when and how a nectarine tree should be pruned? Or, give us a resource for such information? Also, when and what type of treatment/pesticide (?) should one use on it in the Austi...
view the full question and answer

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