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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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Saturday - June 11, 2011

From: Morgan , UT
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Disease in non-native globe willow from Morgan UT
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have a globe willow tree that is a few years old but still a relatively young tree. It appears to have slime flux disease. It has 3 or 4 spots on the trunk where the foam exits and runs down the trunk. The tree still appears healthy. Will this be fatal to the tree? If not, is there any effective treatment I can do to get rid of the disease and help improve the health of the tree?


We are going to suggest you save yourself a lot of grief, cut it down, and have the leavings carted away now. Here is why:

From a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer:

"Please read this article from Sunshine and Starlight Why Not to Plant a Globe Willow in Your Yard. Then read this from a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer:

"The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center researches and teaches about our native species, working to promote their use and re-establishment in their ancestral native ranges. Since Salix matsudana (globe willow or corkscrew willow) is a native of China, it is outside our sphere of expertise. Natives planted in their preferred habitat are suited to their local growing conditions, and perform to their optimum.

Globe Willow is fast-growing and has attractively-colored foliage, but suffers a variety of problems from weak limbs and short life span to pests and disease."



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