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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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

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