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

Soapberry suckers in Austin
July 23, 2011 - Western Soapberry. Cut it down many months ago. Now I have baby trees all over the lawn. Are these the berries or are they coming from roots even though some sprouts are quite a distance away. I pul...
view the full question and answer

Reply on Carolina Jasmine from San Antonio
March 06, 2009 - Thank you for your prompt reply to my question from San Antonio about removal of Carolina Jasmine. Just one note. In the "rate this answer" section my cursor dropped. I meant to give you four stars....
view the full question and answer

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

How to get rid of Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
July 28, 2008 - We have an enormous stand of japanese polygonum that we are trying to get rid of. What soil type is the most inhospitable to this aggressive and highly invasive species? Were thinking of planting so...
view the full question and answer

Information on various plants from Alamo TX
November 15, 2009 - Have you heard of the following plants: Butterfly Iris,Compact Nanpina, Red Dwarf Turks? I would like to know some details on the above plant: size, flowers?, drought tolerant, where to plant Thanki...
view the full question and answer

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