En Español

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
1 rating

Sunday - July 06, 2014

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Problem Plants, Trees
Title: Live Oak Suckers Reprise, Austin TX
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Referring to an entry dated March 11, 2011 about Live Oak suckers - what happened to the suckers covered with newspaper and cardboard?

ANSWER:

  Wow - You're checking up on me!   I actually think that this experiment was relaively successsful.

For reference, this is the question/answer pair referred to and the recommendation was to clean up the suckers then cover the area with cardboard/newspaper to keep them down.

  At the time of the question, we had already prepared and covered the area at least the previous fall.  So, in my undocumented experiment:

- For about the first two years this treatment very successfully suppressed the shoots, only a few crept past the edges and were easily removed with garden shears.  The cardboard remained relatively intact.

- on years three to four, the shoots would often penetrate the edges of the cardboard and shoot removal made for a full morning job.  The cardboard was clearly starting to fall apart.

- I believe this year is year 4+.   In selected broad areas the shoots are back and coming up quite healthy [where the cardboard was disturbed].  Other areas are still pretty suppressed, but the cardboard is giving out throughout. I'm thinking that come the Fall a new treatment will be needed.

As I stated before, I consider this a success and intend to keep it going. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Escarpment live oak
Quercus fusiformis

Escarpment live oak
Quercus fusiformis

Escarpment live oak
Quercus fusiformis

More Trees Questions

Oak leaf fall causing ivy damage
August 28, 2007 - I read the A/Q in the Austin American-Statesman Saturday, August 25, regarding the leaves falling now from the live oaks. I am experiencing the same thing, but it is the leaves of my post oaks that a...
view the full question and answer

Dead woody plants in wildlife garden in Austin
March 02, 2011 - I am an enthusiastic and pretty successful wildlife gardener, have studied my Wasowski "Bible", but I can't get any evergreens established in my yard! We live on blackland clay, which I amend with ...
view the full question and answer

Do leaves with tannins make good compost from Austin
November 04, 2010 - I have a couple of old native pecan trees in my (or neighbor's) yard that drop bushels and bushels of leaves every fall. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I have a recollection that pecan leaves have...
view the full question and answer

Propogating snowbells from Elmendorf TX
June 06, 2012 - Is it possible to propagate Styrax platanifolius and Halesia diptera from cuttings? If yes, what is the process?
view the full question and answer

Grafting to a cherry laurel for edible fruit in Austin
July 01, 2010 - I was the one who asked earlier about grafting to a Cherry Laurel. I will happily graft a local plum on it, say a Mexican Plum or American Plum or one of the naturalized peaches (a friend has an India...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center