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?

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

Eliminating dogbane from transplanted milkweed in Franklin Lakes NJ
May 10, 2010 - We transplanted milkweed from the wild into our garden. Included in the clump of milkweed was dogbane. We weren't aware of how invasive dogbane is. We've has some success in digging it out but we'...
view the full question and answer

Control of Roosevelt weed in Hays County, TX
August 29, 2006 - Roosevelt weed is rapidly taking over the ranchette which we have purchased in Hays County. Any suggestions for reducing or eliminating its presence will be appreciated. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of invasive grasses in backyard
July 17, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, How do I rid my yard of invasive grasses? I am finding Bermuda, stickers, crabgrass and maybe even Johnson grass throughout my backyard. The invasion is substantial in one 200+...
view the full question and answer

Runaway Agave Americana from Pacific Palisades CA
April 29, 2013 - We live near open space on Santa Monica Mountain State Park. Our Association planted non-native, invasive Agave Americanas all over the adjacent slopes, and we are trying to get the exploding pups and...
view the full question and answer

Containing roots in Kaysville UT
October 26, 2009 - I'm planting my yard in all native Rocky Mountain and Great Basin plants. Is there a way to halt or contain the root propagation of Smooth Leaf Sumac and Quaking Aspen? I've considered digging dow...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center