The globe willow tree, or Navajo salix, is found throughout large portions of the southern United States, usually in areas where the winter season does not bring overly cool temperatures. The globe willow tree gets its common name, quite simply, from its globular shape, appearing like nothing so much as a shaggy bonsai, its round canopy perched precariously atop a slim trunk. The globe willow tree grows easily and fast, quickly filling in to its full potential and topping 50 feet or higher at maturity. The globe shape is literally wired into the globe willow's DNA, as is its size at maturity, so gardeners should be prepared for a large, enthusiastic round tree before selecting the globe willow for a home garden or landscape setting.
The globe willow grows very well in a wide range of conditions as long as temperatures remain on the warm side. The globe willow needs loose, well draining soil that is well oxygenated and enriched, especially as young trees are becoming established. The globe willow has a well-known issue with weak branches, in addition to which it will drop branches, stems, and foliage. This activity will increase if the tree is under stress.
The globe willow tree is susceptible to a wide range of pests and disease, so much so that it is not recommended for new gardeners. The most serious disease is frothy flux, a fungal ailment that rots the wood from the inside out, emitting an unpleasant odor as it does so. Frothy flux is very hard to treat and will kill a globe willow if left untreated. Globe willow trees are also highly susceptible to chlorosis, an iron deficiency in the soil due to overwatering. Yellowed leaves will signal when iron chlorosis has set in.