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 - July 28, 2009

From: San Angelo, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Elimination of live oak adventitious sprouts in San Angelo TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Live oak sprouts. The main tree was removed several years ago and we still have the sprouts coming up in the yard. How do we stop this?

ANSWER:

Seedlings coming up beneath the tree and adventitious root sprouts ("suckers") are two different things. The seedlings have instructions in their seeds about making roots and starting to get nutrition from the soil. The adventitious sprouts have roots, all right, but it's the main tree root, itself. They are the root's fight for life. It is trying to get some more "branches" out to grow some leaves, get some sun and start performing photosynthesis to keep the roots alive. If you remove that sucker, you have removed it from its root. If there is still trunk remaining above the ground, you could try the painting method. Get a disposable foam paintbrush and some full-strength broad spectrum herbicide. Cut across the remaining trunk and immediately (within 5 minutes) paint the cut surface with the herbicide. Be very careful doing this, don't allow it to get on the soil or any other plants. The herbicide needs to go on the the cut surface quickly because the roots will start to heal over to protect themselves. The suckers should be removed by digging down several inches and prying them out. Until the roots have been starved to death, you will still get the suckers. 

Here is some related information, Prune for the Love of Live Oaks from your own local newspaper, the Standard-Times, gosanangelo.com, e-edition.  It has some information on suckers.

 

More Trees Questions

Healthy black walnut trees from volunteer saplings
May 07, 2008 - We just purchased a piece of property in the Texas Hill Country. There is a stump of a large black walnut tree that has four healthy looking samplings shooting up. Each is about 10 feet high. The o...
view the full question and answer

Leaves dropping on native Texas Mountain Laurel in San Antonio
September 20, 2008 - Please help. We have a beautiful TX Mountain Laurel in our front yard. This year the leaves are dropping like snow in the north. What do you think is wrong with our tree?
view the full question and answer

Saving a 350-year old Live Oak
March 14, 2015 - I live in Jefferson Parish outside New Orleans. I have a large Live Oak tree that is over 350 years old and has been damaged by Katrina. I have contacted one arborist and they said that the tree is st...
view the full question and answer

care of Red Oak seedling; Quercus buckleyi
October 30, 2007 - We purchased one of the Red Oaks seedlings for sale to members from the LBJ Ranch ($45). Now that we have it at home we are wondering about the care and feeding. We failed to ask any questions or pi...
view the full question and answer

Season to plant Pacific Wax Myrtle from Fallbrook CA
July 25, 2013 - Would like to know which season would be the best to plant Pacific Wax Myrtle in Fallbrook, CA area? I presently have invading bamboo, which I want to get rid of. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

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