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?

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
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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - July 10, 2011

From: Cumbola, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders, Transplants
Title: Leaves browning on non-native willow from in Cumbla PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We recently planted a willow tree. A lot of the leaves turned yellow and some turned brown, but it is also getting some new buds. my question is, should I take the dead leaves off or leave them there?

ANSWER:

How do we feel about the willow? Let us count the ways.  While there are some members of the Salix (willow) native to North America, landscape willows are most often either Salix matsudana (Globe Willow) or Salix x sepulcralis (Weeping Willow). We have been asked about both trees numerous times, and we can only remind you that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants grow natively. Here are extracts from two of our many answers on questions regarding these trees:

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 surfaces, 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.

Salix matsudana, Globe Willow, is a native of eastern Asia. Willows generally are fairly weak, short-lived trees, susceptible to many insects and diseases, as well as dropping a lot of litter. The globe willow is often infected with slime flux, a bacterial disease that is soil-borne.

To answer your question, you say you have recently planted your willow. The best probability is that it is suffering from transplant shock. It may have been planted in weather too hot or too cold for the exposed roots, damaged in transportation, or in the wrong soils for it. If it is putting on new buds, we would say just let the browning leaves drop off on their own.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Recovery from transplant shock for bougainvillea
July 12, 2007 - I live outside of Phoenix. I just bought a bougainvillea in a large pot. It was doing nicely until I brought it home. I placed it in a sunny spot in my front yard inside of a large volcanic rock that ...
view the full question and answer

Chipmunk in the garden.
August 27, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a rogue chipmunk this year (never had one before doing this) who is eating roots and digging holes in all my plant containers. I have tried Plant Skyd (excellent deer r...
view the full question and answer

Black rot at center of Agave from Clovis CA
May 12, 2013 - We have some beautiful variegated "Green & Cream" Agave plants in our cactus garden. One in particular has done quite well for several years and is the largest, about 18" tall & across, it has neve...
view the full question and answer

Possible causes for plant problems in East Texas
September 06, 2007 - I have been an avid gardener for over 35 years in Texas.I love the wildflowers and use them extensively in my 2 acre plot here in East Texas. There is something really bad going on with my garden: pl...
view the full question and answer

Salt from water softener affecting roses.
October 12, 2007 - I have a water softener at my well and wonder if an accumulation of salt over time is causing problems for my roses. After several years of doing really well the branches turn brown and eventually die...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center