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

Friday - June 20, 2008

From: Spartanburg , SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Removing and replacing juniper bushes
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi! I'm pulling up juniper bushes. (just don't like it) I'm getting down to the roots now on one side and I'm having a hard time getting them up. Any recommendations. They are near my driveway and sidewalk so I don't think I can pull them up. Also, what should I plant in its place that won't require much watering and is an evergreen? Something low to the ground..not huge bushes since we have those all around the house. I thought we could use a variety and then some color in some areas for as long as we can. Basically, I need a low maintence flower bed area that will attract some interest under a crate myrtle and something other than the green bushes that are everywhere else. And of course I need to know how to get that juniper up! Sorry that was more than one question but I think you can handle it! Thanks!!

ANSWER:

Digging them up is probably the best option, or perhaps digging them a bit and then pulling might work. I can't really be sure since I don't know how large they are. If they are really large, you could use an axe or heavy duty loppers to cut them off below ground, but then you are faced with them possibly regrowing from the roots and/or those roots getting in the way of planting new shrubs. You could try to find an herbicide that you could paint on the cut top of the roots to be sure they die and not resprout, but then you would be faced with not only the remaining roots in the way of planting new shrubs, but also possible residual herbicide that would affect your new plants. So, my advice is to dig and chop to get as much of the roots out of the ground as possible. If they resprout from any remaining roots, you can dig and cut them off as they occur.

Here are a few subshrubs that come close to your requirements, all are evergreen but most require moist soil:

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) is the most compatible with your requirements. It tolerates great variability in soil moisture and sun or shade. There are dwarf cultivars available.

Mitchella repens (partridgeberry) requires moist or dry soil and shade (<2 hours sunlight a day) or part shade (2 to 6 per day).

Chrysogonum virginianum (green and gold) needs moist soil and part shade. There is a variety, C. virginianum var. australe that will grow in sun.

Gaultheria procumbens (eastern teaberry) grows in moist and dry soil in shade or part shade.

Chimaphila maculata (striped prince's pine) grows in dry shade.

You can also see a variety of deciduous subshrubs for your area by doing a Combination Search in our Native Plant Database by choosing 'South Carolina' from the Select State or Province option and 'Subshrub' under Habit (general appearance). There are also other characteristics you can choose to limit your search results.


Morella cerifera

Mitchella repens

Chrysogonum virginianum var. australe

Gaultheria procumbens

Chimaphila maculata

 

 

More Trees Questions

Watering a Chinquapin Oak in Austin, TX
June 22, 2014 - I have a question about watering. I planted a Chinquapin Oak about 7 months ago and it's about 8 feet tall and doing well. I water it weekly on a slow drip for about an hour. I expect that my job is ...
view the full question and answer

Windbreaks for Monterey County, CA
May 31, 2013 - I am trying to find good wind breakers for Monterey County area, very windy in the valley.
view the full question and answer

Tree for area around patio in East Texas
December 31, 2008 - What is the best type of tree to plant around my patio which faces the southeast
view the full question and answer

Mountain Laurel growing in East Texas
April 24, 2008 - I found a plant that looks like a Texas Mountain Laurel growing wild on a fenceline in east texas, near Canton. It is a small shrub/tree and has flowers like wisteria. It has "hairy" stems, they ar...
view the full question and answer

Using cedar chips as mulch in Wimberley, TX
August 19, 2010 - In TX Hlll Country there is an abundance of wood chips, usually "cedar", which I have used as plant mulch. Since wood chips extract nitrogen to decay, do you consider chips a poor choice as plant m...
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