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

Wednesday - August 16, 2006

From: Nottingham, Other
Region: Other
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Disease problems of non-native Weeping Willow
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Could you please tell me why my weeping willow has got pink coloured leaves and seems very dry the bark is splitting and seems full of wood worm?

ANSWER:

Weeping willow, Salix babylonica is a native of China. While it is much-loved for its elegance when healthy, Weeping willow is notorious for its many problems. Any number of insects and diseases attack Weeping willow. The problem you describe with the bark and wood is likely caused by wood borers. Moreover, the fast-growing tree has very weak wood which is highly susceptible to breaking, especially during high winds.

The pink foliage exhibited by your tree could be caused by a fungus or sucking insects (usually pinkish spots) or by some other form of stress. Some willows feature naturally pink foliage in summer. While S. babylonica is not known for pink leaves, it is possible that stress could cause the change of color.

While no other tree really has the aesthetic character of Weeping willow, its weaknesses may make you want to consider replacing it with another tree that is native, and thus adapted, to your area and not prone to your tree's many problems.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Dying non-native St. Augustine grass from Austin
May 02, 2013 - Although we all know St. Augustine grass is not a good thing, I am stuck with it and am trying to save areas that appear to have take-all fungus. I have done much reading online and have tried peat m...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of non-native weigela and roses
June 29, 2009 - I have a Red Prince wiegala (spelling?) and while most of the branches have leaves and red flowers, there are some branches that never produced any leaves or flowers. Should I prune them? If so, can...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting honeysuckle bush in Illinois
April 18, 2009 - Want to transplant 3 honeysuckle shrubs 10 to 12' tall this month, although not the best time. Please advise.
view the full question and answer

Are non-native Cleveland pear trees poisonous to dogs in Rushsylvania, OH
May 11, 2011 - Are Cleveland pear trees poisonous to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Privacy hedge for Burleson, TX.
April 09, 2013 - I moved out to the country away from the hustle and bustle only to find that I have less privacy out there because of open land. I hear children screaming and dogs barking from 1/4 mile away. I want t...
view the full question and answer

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