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?


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
1 rating

Thursday - January 26, 2006

From: Wimberley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Removing competition of mustang grapes from live oaks
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton


We have several native mustang grape vines on our rural property that seem to be taking over the live oaks on which they are becoming entwined. Is it advisable to remove them or are they harmless? And is it possible to take some of their wood cuttings and root them for future planting using trellises instead of trees?


You should definitely remove the mustang grape vines from your liveoaks. They will compete with the trees for water and soil nutrients and can also harm the trees by limiting light penetration to the trees and physically breaking down the canopy. Winter, while there are no leaves on them, is the time to destroy them by cutting them off at the ground. You probably also want to pull the roots out of the ground to prevent them from sprouting again. The vines themselves may be difficult to remove from the trees at first; but after they have had a while to decompose a bit, they should be fairly easy to pull out of the trees.

There are several things you can do to preserve plants to grow on a trellis. One possibility for producing your own plants is to do ground layering from living vines that aren't growing on your oaks. Plants can also be produced by rooting wood cuttings. The wood should be semi-soft to mature wood collected in the fall from that year's growth. They will root in moist sand or vermiculite (any material that allows good drainage); in regular soil, they usually rot before they root. You can also sow the seeds outdoors in the fall to produce plants emerging in March.

You can read more about the mustang grape and its propagation and cultivation on the Plants for a Future database and also in the Native Plants Database.

More Propagation Questions

Propagation of Possumhaw Holly from berries in Marble Falls, TX
January 31, 2010 - Any suggestions for getting a Possumhaw Holly to grow from the red berries?
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Texas madrone (Arbutus xalapensis)
October 08, 2008 - I have seeds from a madrone tree and would like to know if you have had success propagating a madrone and if so, could you give me some tips, because I hear it can be tricky.
view the full question and answer

Mistake in propagation of Mustang grapes from Victoria TX
July 27, 2013 - I didn't read first! I planted dried mustang grape seeds in good potting soil, watered and put on tall clear plastic bags to retain moisture, will they ever come up? Should I get the seed out and r...
view the full question and answer

Need native grasses to re-introduce on land in Live Oak County, Texas.
July 21, 2009 - How do I find out what type of grass is native and how to reintroduce it (once we get some rain)? The area is southern Live Oak County approx 10 miles north of Orange Grove TX, about 2 miles from Lak...
view the full question and answer

When to plant bluebonnet seed
October 16, 2007 - When do I put out Bluebonnet seed? Do I soak them first? Thank You.
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center