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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - October 14, 2007

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Chinaberry trees coming up volunteer
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have several chinaberry trees that have sprouted after my neighbor trimmed his tree. I have cut these trees down to the ground a couple of times, but they just send out new shoots. Any idea on how to get rid of them forever?


The Chinaberry (Melia azedarach) is a deciduous tree in the mahogany family, native to India, southern China and Australia. They are considered to be invasive, as they spread quickly and crowd out native trees and other plants. The birds eat the berries, and love to plant new trees wherever they go. They have been widely planted in Central Texas as shade trees resistant to drought and having some fall color. The only sure way to get rid of one is to take it out, roots and all. If the trees on your property are still small enough, it would be worth your while to try to dig out or pull out the roots now. And watch for new sprouts, getting them out while it's still just a matter of giving it a good yank. If the trees already in your yard are too big to grub out, cut them down as far as you can, and then paint the cut trunk with a product specific to that purpose.

More Invasive Plants Questions

Eastern Red Cedar Roots
March 17, 2016 - Would an Eastern Red Cedar root system damage underground irrigation pipes?
view the full question and answer

Toxicity and invasiveness of Scarlet Wisteria
May 04, 2007 - I recently purchased seeds for Scarlet Wisteria (Chinese rattlebox tree). I spoke to a neighbor about this and she warned me not to plant them as they were poisonous to hummingbirds. Can you clarify...
view the full question and answer

How to deal with suckers on Flame-leaf Sumac
May 20, 2013 - Hi! It seems you can have too much of a good thing! Our flameleaf sumac is taking over our yard. There are multiple shoots appearing in our flower beds and in the lawn. How do I get rid of the unwante...
view the full question and answer

Nutgrass in Lakeway TX Habiturf
September 30, 2012 - I just installed a new septic system with drip field. Planted habiturf over the whole area. The habiturf is doing good, but I was away for a while and the nut grass has taken over several areas. It s...
view the full question and answer

Is conium maculatum safe for cataracts from Wewoka OK
September 12, 2009 - My doctor has prescribed conium maculatum for my cataract problems. Is this safe to use in the eyes?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center