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

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

Grape Vines and spacing for Portland, OR
September 10, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a somewhat small south-facing yard next to my home (less than 8' wide). I would like to build a tall arbor for grapes that runs along the length of my home (about 4...
view the full question and answer

Green wall panel for Dallas
August 21, 2007 - We are working on a green wall panel for a hotel near SMU--I see your list of recommended species for green roofs, & wondered if you have any ideas for vertical applications. Probably will have someth...
view the full question and answer

Vines for Shade in Upstate New York
April 23, 2013 - Hello! I am looking for a non-invasive vine that will grow in heavy shade near my house in upstate New York.
view the full question and answer

Carolina Jessamine Toxic to Honey Bees?
January 20, 2015 - Is Carolina jessamine toxic to honey bees? I have read conflicting answers.
view the full question and answer

Need an evergreen flowering vine to cover a fence in Houston, TX.
May 28, 2012 - Looking for an evergreen flowering vine to cover my fence. caveat? one part of the fence is within 5 feet from the air conditioning unit which blows a lot of hot air, the area takes a day or two to dr...
view the full question and answer

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