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

Saturday - July 04, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: Removing yaupon hollies from yard in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We recently moved into a home w/ way too many and much too large (20-30') yaupon holly's in the back yard. I had some of them cut down, but they keep coming up from the roots of the old trees. How do I get rid of them?

ANSWER:

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon), while a sturdy Texas native, can also get to be a pain when it is big and takes over an area. There are two alternatives to consider: Dig out the roots very thoroughly or go the cut and paint route. The second alternative involves slicing the top of the main root off very close to the soil. Using a disposal paintbrush, paint the cut surface with a wide spectrum herbicide. Do this very quickly, within 5 minutes of cutting, as the root will immediately begin to heal over in order to protect itself. The herbicide should get into the root system and begin to kill it and discourage the production of suckers. However, the primary objective of any plant is to survive, and whatever vestiges of root are left alive will continue to try to sprout, forming what are basically new branches to bear leaves and, through the process of photosynthesis, produce nutrition for the tree. 

After employing either (or both) methods, continue to pull out the suckers as quickly as they appear. Eventually, one way or another, the roots will starve to death and die. Be very careful with the herbicide, don't spill it on the ground or try to spray it. You can easily contaminate the soil or harm another, more desirable plant.

 

From the Image Gallery


Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

More Trees Questions

Moving a red oak away from the house foundation
January 24, 2008 - About a 3 weeks ago I noticed a 5 ft. red oak growing in my flower bed. I hadn't noticed it growing up through my shrubs until the leaves turned bright red. The problem is that its coming up about tw...
view the full question and answer

Replacing vegetation lost to hurricane
October 15, 2008 - Between Rita & Ike, I have lost over 40 beautiful trees, most red, white & post oaks. I have 6 very large (7' in diameter) pines that tried to pull up and are now leaning toward my house. They are sc...
view the full question and answer

Changing color of crape myrtle blooms
July 08, 2008 - I have 5 well established crape myrtle trees whose blooms are a very light lavender/pink color. I would like to know if there is any way to deepen or change the color of the blooms. I would prefer a m...
view the full question and answer

Leaves on 3 year old maple turning brown in Lebo, KS.
July 16, 2011 - Hello, one of our five Maple trees which is is 3 yrs. old now, we saw a week ago that the leaves started turning brown and dropping. My question is: Will the tree survive this and return healthy next ...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing native trees that are safe for horses
April 30, 2008 - What trees can I plant that are fast growing for shade and, most importantly, safe for horses?
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