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

Monday - March 26, 2007

From: PACIFICA, CA
Region: California
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Control of Acacia escaping cultivation in California
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

My backyard has been overrun by acacia shrubs. How and what can I do to permanently rid the area of this weed? I hold an agricultural QAL so I have access to herbicides if there are effective ones available beyond RoundUp. I feel the area will need to be power sprayed and naturally I'm concerned about drift so if there is an alternative (like goats?), I'd like to know about it. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

ANSWER:

There are at least 11 Acacia species that occasionally escape cultivation in California. The California Invasive Plant Council has three species of Acacia in its Cal-IPC Invasive Plant Inventory; Acacia dealbata (silver wattle), Acacia melanoxylon (black acacia), and Acacia paradoxa (kangaroothorn). In a backyard situation, Mr. Smarty Plants reccommends using mechanical rather than chemical control. Cut stems just below ground level and hand-pull seedlings before roots are well established. Be aware that cut trees appear resistant to most chemical treatments and often develop new shoots from the crown and possibly roots. Chemicals are most effective during the growing season. Regarding Biological Control (i.e. goats), Mr. Smarty Plants could only find some information about sheep and insects used to control Acacia in Australia. Click here to learn more.
 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Plants for Bastrop TX
June 01, 2011 - I'm hoping you can help with this. Recently I have moved to Bastrop TX on what used to be Camp Swift military property. We have looked into planting grass and plants in the yard but discovered we hav...
view the full question and answer

Sandbur invasion in Mission TX
June 08, 2011 - I have a spiny sandbur invasion in my yard. Even the dog tiptoes around to do her business. Because I live in Mission, TX, this weed acts like a perennial and is constantly growing (no winter freezes...
view the full question and answer

Problem with Chinese Pistache tree
September 01, 2014 - We have a gorgeous Chinese Pistache in our yard, about 25 feet tall. We bought it for its gorgeous fall color. The problem is that it has never turned color for us. All the other pistaches in the neig...
view the full question and answer

Invasive phragmites from New Egypt NJ
July 30, 2011 - I have some wetland near a road. It has been taken over by phragmites. How is the best way to remove these grasses and add some diversity to this area. The area in question is approx. 100 by 30 feet.
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of poison ivy
May 08, 2009 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants, Likewise I also have a shady area in my yard with overgrowth of poison ivy. It borders a small duck pond and we have a Golden Retriever. I too would like to plant soon afterward...
view the full question and answer

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