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I love to golf. One of the reasons I love to golf is that I love the serenity of a golf course and especially the beautiful mature trees of all sorts. The Globe Willow in particular is my favorite because of its shape and size so I decided to purchase one and plant it in my backyard. I have read several articles that talk about these trees being very suceptible to disease and I wondered if it was as much of a problem here in Utah with such cold winters for half the year. I don't want to watch this tree suffer its whole life and end up taking it down. I live in the Cottonwood Heights area. Can you help with any advice?

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The articles you refer to regarding globe willows high susceptibility to disease is true.  However, I must first qualify that trees are susceptible to disease when stressed, usually by cultural and environmental conditions that are not ideal for growth.  Willows usually grow very quickly, therefore the wood is weak and, especially with globe willows, their branch angle and attachment is weak and subject to breakage either from snow load or high winds.  A common disease associated with globe willow is slime flux. This bacterial disease of trees is also known as "wet wood" disease. This disease is caused by bacteria that creates pressure and slime oozes out of cracks in the trunk and branches.

Globe willow (Salix matsudana 'Globe Navajo') in our Utah State University Extension Publication "Selecting and Planting Landscape Trees" (http://extension.usu.edu/forestry/Reading/Assets/PDFDocs/NR_FF/NR460.pdf) suggests it is a species that rarely should be planted, though limited use in specific situations may be justified.

I hope that answers your question.  If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me.

Posted on 14 May 2008

Maggie Shao
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

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