En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - October 23, 2007

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Destroying seeds of Chinaberry tree
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a "chinaberry" tree in my yard, and while I understand that it is an invasive plant to Texas, I was hoping to save the large mature tree. As an effort to be more responsible I have been collecting any seeds the plant bears, but now I am left wondering what is the general method for destroying seeds of an invasive species? I obviously don't want to throw the seeds in the trash, nor do I wish to use horrible herbicides or chemicals.

ANSWER:

You are to be congratulated for recognizing the invasive nature of the Melia azedarach, (Chinaberry), and we also understand your reluctance to destroy a mature tree. Your concern about the seeds is valid, but you should also realize that most plants put out an enormous number of seeds because so few of them will actually be viable and manage to land in a hospitable spot, survive predators and get the necessary sun, water and temperatures. Still, it's a consideration, and your management of clearing the area of seeds is a step in the right direction. Of course, the birds love the seeds and are going to spread them far and wide before you can get to them. If you are concerned about disposing still-viable seeds, how about putting them in a black garbage bag, and leaving it out in the sun. Even if the air is cold, the heat is going to build up in that bag and cooked seeds are not viable. After a few weeks, or months, whenever you get tired of the bag being there, dispose of it as you would any other trash.
 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Dandelions in bluebonnets in Bastrop TX
May 31, 2012 - I have a 20'x60' front yard area where I planted bluebonnets. It has become horrifically inundated with dandelions. How do I eradicate the dandelions while preserving the bluebonnets ? Thanks ...
view the full question and answer

Request for native grasses from Hillsboro TX
August 04, 2012 - P.S. I forgot to mention one very important fact: my neighbor specifically asked for "native grass" recommendations. He thought he was getting a native grass recommendation.
view the full question and answer

Native invasives question from Arlington MA
May 20, 2011 - When I searched your website for creepers in Massachusetts, I found the following recommendations: Campsis radicans and Parthenocissus quinquefolia. But in response to a reader's question, you called...
view the full question and answer

Killing a century plant from Burton TX
August 08, 2013 - How do you kill the century plant, they are taking over?
view the full question and answer

Dietes bicolor invasive from Brisbane Australia
April 01, 2013 - We have dietes bicolor growing in our garden. I am changing the type of garden and cannot seem to kill it. I've dugged it out, spent too many weekends pulling out every new shoot, used poison, but t...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center