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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Wednesday - October 01, 2008

From: Fresno, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Cuttings from non-native weeping willow in California
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a large area to plant, I have a flourishing Weeping Willow and would like to harvest cuttings from it to start new trees. What is the best time of year for this in Central California?

ANSWER:

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. It also falls out of the expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, as we specialize in plants native to North America.

While we would like to answer all questions we receive, Mr. Smarty Plants' work 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.

 

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