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 Problem Plants Questions

Elimination of non-native, invasive King Ranch bluestem in lawn
June 06, 2006 - How can I eliminate an annual infestation of king ranch bluestem in my bermuda lawn? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets and weeds in Burleson TX
March 31, 2010 - I have lots of blue bonnets growing in my yard but they are overcome with weeds. What can I use to eliminate the weeds without killing the bluebonnets?
view the full question and answer

Methods of controlling poison ivy
April 19, 2005 - What do you suggest for controlling poison oak (ivy)?
view the full question and answer

How to eliminate roadside thistles
May 26, 2015 - When we drive along the highway we see lots of wildflowers and no thistles in the median. How does the Highway Department keep the thistles out? Here in Kerrville, we are overwhelmed by thistles thi...
view the full question and answer

Invasive native wild onions in East Granby CT
May 17, 2011 - I have wild onions which have become extremely invasive. I have no idea how to get rid of them, and this year they seem to have taken over my entire flower bed. I tried pulling the bulbs out for sever...
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