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

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 Non-Natives Questions

Non-native herbs being burned by pool chlorine in St. Petersburg, FL
July 11, 2010 - My herb garden is next to my swimming pool, which is serviced by a company using chlorine. I have found that on the two unsuccessful attempt to establish my herb garden, the herbs burn off after the p...
view the full question and answer

Natural fibers for lashing bamboo in weaving
May 07, 2008 - I live in Austin and am looking for plants I can use for weaving fibers, e.g. lashing bamboo for a small project. What plants and parts do you recommend? What resources do you recommend for informatio...
view the full question and answer

Removing non-native plants appearing in Austin in early spring
March 14, 2012 - In order to know which plants to keep and which to remove, is there a source to look up and identify common non-native plants that are seen in Austin about this time of the year (late winter, early Sp...
view the full question and answer

Non-native vines poisonous to animals from Park Ridge IL
June 18, 2012 - I have a Star Jasmine and sambac Philipine Jasmine Plant . Are they poisonous to cats or dogs. I have them in the house.
view the full question and answer

Possible non-native squash and gourd cross from Kyle TX
June 10, 2012 - Last year I gathered seeds from the yellow squash plants that were grown from a seed packet (hybrid, I assume). Well, now the fruit produced by those plants seems to be a cross between a yellow squash...
view the full question and answer

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