Contact Us Host an Event 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

Thursday - August 13, 2009

From: Detroit, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Pruning, Trees
Title: Corkscrew willow damage to roof in Detroit, MI.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a corkscrew willow (Detroit, MI) that is huge and whose branches hang on top of the asphalt shingles of my mobile home. It has now been discovered that these shingles, under the branches, are disintegrating. Could this be due to the exudate from this corkscrew willow?

ANSWER:

The Corkscrew willow  (Salix matsudana) has become a popular ornamental tree in the U.S. due to its contorted and twisted branches and twigs. The winter branch pattern is especially interesting interesting. However, since it is non native to North America (its origin is China), it lies outside our expertise here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center where we focus on  and  encourage the cultivation, conservation and preservation of wildflowers and other native flora throughout North America.

If the limbs of the tree are actually in contact with the shingles of your home, I think that a combination of accumulated leaf litter holding moisture and the rubbing of the branches on the roof would be enough to help deteriorate your shingles. 

Once you have replaced the damaged shingles, you might consider checking out this site for tips on pruning the lower branches of your willow tree.

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Shumard oak or live oak in Waco TX?
October 02, 2009 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants, I planted 2 small Shumard oaks in my front yard (east side of the house, 8-9 hours of sun per day) 18 months ago. Both had been purchased from a national chain store's garden ...
view the full question and answer

Propagating magnolias from Springtown TX
July 07, 2011 - I am trying to find out how to plant Magnolia tree seeds and what has to be done with them prior to planting, if anything and what type of soil to use.
view the full question and answer

Oak sap dripping on driveway in Austin
November 06, 2011 - Why would oak sap be dripping on driveway at this time when other oaks the neighbors have are not.
view the full question and answer

Plants for oak shade from Whitney TX
December 24, 2012 - I live in Whitney, Texas and have a number of beautiful Live Oak trees in a portion of my yard providing deep shade. Asian Jasmine grows in about 5 ft circle around them and then nothing! I have walk ...
view the full question and answer

Windbreak for Eastern Kansas
July 17, 2011 - I need to plant a fast growing windbreak near my lateral lines for a septic tank. We obviously can't have anything that would interfere with the laterals but I desperately need a North wind break. ...
view the full question and answer

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