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
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

Pictures of Bastard Cabbage from Dallas TX
April 07, 2012 - HI! Re your March 12 posting: The USDA Plants website pictures two very different looking plants identified as Rapistrum rugosum (bastardcabbage). Would you please post a photo with leaf and bloom ...
view the full question and answer

Invasive Cissus trifoliata in Dallas
May 25, 2011 - I have finally identified an invasive, stinky vine in my urban landscape as Cissus trifoliata. It was waxy leaves, small greenish flowers, and small black berries. It appears to spread with undergrou...
view the full question and answer

Affect of poisonous plant roots in soils for vegetables from Rusk TX
May 11, 2013 - I have a huge old flowerbed in front of my house that I want to plant veggies in, but I'm afraid to. It has a catalpa tree there, which I sell the worms from, but the entire tree (bark, leaves, flowe...
view the full question and answer

Damage to ruellia in Monroe LA
October 26, 2009 - I have hundreds of Ruellia Brittoniana. Dwarf Katie White, Katie Blue and Katie Pink. I am finding holes in some of the leaves, Some just have notches chewed out of them. Some of the leaves have...
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

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