En Español

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

Smarty Plants on Gloxinias
August 20, 2004 - How do I care for my newly acquired Gloxinias?
view the full question and answer

Insects on hybrid 'Ann' magnolia in Morrow OH
June 17, 2010 - I have an Ann Magnolia. It is covered in all kinds of stinging insects and flies. This has never happened before. Is this a common problem for the tree? What should I do?
view the full question and answer

Plants looking similar to Camellia sinensis in Venezuela
June 30, 2008 - Is there another plant that looks similar to the tea plant? I need to do a photoshoot of a tea plantation, but canīt really get to one, so I was wondering if there were other plants that at least look...
view the full question and answer

Non-native bougainvillea in Beaufort SC
July 06, 2011 - Bougainvillea-Can I grow these in Beaufort SC?
view the full question and answer

Is Tropical Milkweed Harmful to Monarchs?
April 24, 2015 - I believe I recently read that the orange flowering Mexican milkweed carries a virus(?) or something that harms monarch butterflies. What are recommendations if I use this plant in my northern CA yar...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center