Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
1 rating

Monday - June 15, 2009

From: Hampstead, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: What is wrong with my Weeping Willow?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a weeping willow tree for about 7 years. It's about 50 feet high and the bark is separating and it starting to drip and collect on trunk bottom a suds type substance. Looks like soap suds. The tree is about 40 % less dense then previous years. What do you recommend?

ANSWER:

Weeping willow, Salix babylonica is a native of China. While it is much-loved for its elegance when healthy, it is notorious for its many problems. Any number of insects, bacteria,  and fungi also love weeping willows. Moreover, the fast-growing tree has very weak wood which is highly susceptible to breaking, especially during high winds.

The Michigan State University Extension has published a bulletin describing disease problems with willows, and this issue of Hortiscope from the North Dakota State University Extension Service has a list of questions along with answers from people who are having troubles with willow trees that could prove helpful.

It is very difficult, if not impossible to diagnose plant disease problems unless you can actually look at the plant. I am suggesting a source of help closer to home; the  office of the University Maryland Extension in Carroll County. This is the second question regarding weeping willows from Carroll County this week, so something may be going on up there.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Leaves turning yellow on Banana Shrub in Eutaw. AL
July 28, 2013 - We have a very large (about 12' tall), very old (probably planted in the early 1900s) Banana Shrub in our front yard. It was very healthy until last year when its leaves began turning yellow and fal...
view the full question and answer

Foam on Salvia greggii in Austin
October 20, 2010 - I have 7 Salvia greggii plants. I am seeing a white foam like substance on tip of all of them (where flowers use to be). Any suggestions on what is happening to the plants?
view the full question and answer

What to do about volunteer trees growing beneath a large live oak tree in Austin, TX
January 08, 2013 - We have a large live oak tree. Several volunteer trees are growing directly underneath it and into its branches. I want to cut them down if they are going to hurt the long term health of the live oak....
view the full question and answer

Adventitious sprouts from Live Oak in Dallas
February 26, 2011 - How do I kill Holly growing in my yard? I have a Live Oak tree growing in my Bermuda grass lawn. The holly grows under the tree from the trunk extending out about 12-15 ft. It grows right in with the ...
view the full question and answer

Oak tree with browning leaves in Brenham TX
August 16, 2011 - I have a large oak tree in my small back yard. I also have a sprinkler so the tree has been receiving some water. Nevertheless, some of the leaves are turning brown in patches. Would drip watering ...
view the full question and answer

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