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

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

Pruning for native oak in Houston
October 06, 2008 - I have an oak tree, and I was wondering if I prune from the top down, would it get fuller at the bottom? Or can you tell me how to prune it? I have been pruning from the bottom up and it is growing ta...
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive carrot wood tree losing leaves in Alpine CA
April 22, 2014 - My carrot wood tree is losing all of its leaves. The tree is about 15foot high & 13 years old. Could it be gophers? The tree was trimmed 1 year ago.
view the full question and answer

Are mountain laurel beans safe to use as rattles with small children?
September 19, 2012 - Is it safe to use the mountain laurel mescalbean pods as shakers or rattles, as long as the pods are not open and the seeds left unexposed? If a small child (very small, who has no way to open the ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with a Monterey Oak in Austin, TX.
November 12, 2010 - I have a large Monterey Oak, planted last year that has not gotten any fuller. Do I need to fertilize and if so, when?
view the full question and answer

Need tree suggestions for a long, narrow strip in Folsom, CA.
January 18, 2012 - I live in Folsom, Ca. I have a long strip (50') of planting area about 2.5' wide at the top of a retaining wall to the fence behind it. I would like to plant alternating (2) trees down this strip to...
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