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

Wednesday - August 16, 2006

From: Nottingham, Other
Region: Other
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Disease problems of non-native Weeping Willow
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Could you please tell me why my weeping willow has got pink coloured leaves and seems very dry the bark is splitting and seems full of wood worm?

ANSWER:

Weeping willow, Salix babylonica is a native of China. While it is much-loved for its elegance when healthy, Weeping willow is notorious for its many problems. Any number of insects and diseases attack Weeping willow. The problem you describe with the bark and wood is likely caused by wood borers. Moreover, the fast-growing tree has very weak wood which is highly susceptible to breaking, especially during high winds.

The pink foliage exhibited by your tree could be caused by a fungus or sucking insects (usually pinkish spots) or by some other form of stress. Some willows feature naturally pink foliage in summer. While S. babylonica is not known for pink leaves, it is possible that stress could cause the change of color.

While no other tree really has the aesthetic character of Weeping willow, its weaknesses may make you want to consider replacing it with another tree that is native, and thus adapted, to your area and not prone to your tree's many problems.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Invasiveness of non-native gooseneck yellow loosetrife in Maine
May 12, 2005 - I live in Maine, and purple loosestrife is invading our habitat. It outcompetes native species. Does gooseneck loosestrife have the same damaging qualities?
view the full question and answer

Pruning drought-stressed butterfly plants from Kerrville TX
August 22, 2011 - Due to the drought, our butterfly bushes have dead branches. Ordinarily we prune the dormant plants in winter, but can we cut back dead branches now?
view the full question and answer

Moving School House lilies in Austin
March 02, 2009 - I live here in Austin in zipcode 78729. I have a clump of School House lilies in the back of the garden. I would like to move them to another bed under a tree. Is this a good time to move them? Should...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Norfolk Pine suffering in Corpus Christi TX
August 02, 2011 - About ten yrs. ago I transplanted my Norfolk Pine into the ground in my backyard. With all the frosty weather of 2010/2011 the Spring brought a browning/dying of a lot of the Norfolk Pines in this are...
view the full question and answer

Control of non-native invasive Japanese Barberry from Enfield NH
April 22, 2014 - I recently bought a home that is bordered by woods and a sizable area of invasive Japanese Barberry growing on a steep hill in and around a stone wall making it that much harder to dig up. I've alway...
view the full question and answer

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