Rent Shop 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
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 Problem Plants Questions

Bermuda, not the only option in Memphis
November 04, 2014 - I'm building an energy efficient home in Memphis and want to extend that strategy to the landscaping. I'd like to plant native grasses, but this lot is surrounded by lots sodded with Bermuda grass....
view the full question and answer

Elimination of Whitemouth dayflower in Dothan AL
March 18, 2009 - I am infested with Widow's Tears in my yard. I would like to get rid of them. Can you tell me how?
view the full question and answer

Low Water Use Plants for a Pond Island
November 06, 2014 - We have a medium sized pond/tank with a small island covered in black willows. The pond loses a lot of water and we were told it was partially due to the willows. We want to remove them and replace ...
view the full question and answer

Controlling Cocculus carolinus vines
August 04, 2015 - I live in Oklahoma City and want to rid my yard and flowerbeds of Cocculus Carolinus vines, I already have a infestation, I cant count the number of vines that were already established before I found ...
view the full question and answer

Possible allelopathic properties of Prosopis glandulosa (Honey mesquite)
October 02, 2015 - I want to plant a coral honeysuckle at the base of a mesquite tree. Anything in the mesquite that would inhibit the honeysuckle from growing?
view the full question and answer

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