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

Thursday - April 08, 2010

From: Elkview, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Vines
Title: Will trumpet vine strangle tulip poplar in Elkview WV?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a trumpet vine that I planted to grow up a tulip poplar. I did not find info that it may damage the tree prior to doing this but have recently been told that it will "strangle" the tree. Is this true?

ANSWER:

The best thing we can suggest is that you read our webpage on Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper), which, while it refers to the plant as aggressive and being capable of damaging wood, stone and brick, does not actually say it is a tree killer. Unfortunately, some other websites are not so forgiving.

From Dave's Garden Forum, note the many negative comments.

Floridata doesn't like to say bad things about any plants, but admits this one can be an invasive pain. 

From a website called old fashioned living Growing and Controlling Trumpet Vines: "Do not use a tree as a pole for the trumpet vine to climb. Eventually it will strangle the tree. Use an actual pole or fence instead and again, prune in spring or fall, or even during mild winters."

So, next let's talk about your Liriodendron tulipifera (tuliptree). Follow the link to our website on that tree, and then decide, which is it going to be?  The trumpet vine does have gorgeous flowers and attracts hummingbirds, but we're from Texas - trees are irreplaceable. You might permit the vine to grow somewhere else, but we would definitely recommend getting it off that tree while you still can. And you will have to watch closely to keep seedlings from getting started back up the tree, as well as other plants in your garden. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Campsis radicans

Campsis radicans

Liriodendron tulipifera

Liriodendron tulipifera

 

 

More Vines Questions

American Bittersweet in east Texas
September 24, 2007 - Does American Bittersweet vine grow in east Texas? It grows wild in Indiana and want to find it in our new location, Longview, Texas
view the full question and answer

Support for Climbing Hydrangea
October 28, 2008 - This past spring I planted a large climbing hydrangea at the base of a walnut tree which we have had to cut down this fall. The plant was very happy there and I'd like to keep it where it is but don...
view the full question and answer

Why won't my Campsis cultivar flower in Lowell MA
February 08, 2010 - I bought a Campsis trumpet vine cultivar in 2006 and planted near my fence in my yard hoping to cover the fence with the vine. Well 4 seasons later the vine has grown about 5 ft. in area but has yet ...
view the full question and answer

Are grape vines killing oaks in San Antonio
December 20, 2009 - I have some large live oaks growing in sand on some property I have south of San Antonio that are slowly dying one limb at a time. Some large mustang grape vines are growing in and around them and I ...
view the full question and answer

Parthenocissus quinquefolia as replacement for Asiatic jasmine
June 14, 2007 - The deer have stripped the Asiatic jasmine groundcover under my clusters of live oak trees in Southwest Austin. This year the bare areas of ground are covered in Virginia creeper seedlings. I have b...
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