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

Monday - August 02, 2010

From: Boerne, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Oak saplings in Boerne TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is there anything I can do to kill the oak tree saplings that come up around my oak tree? I have a nice raised flower bed around the tree and now it's full of these saplings. Thanks for your help.

ANSWER:

This is a very popular question this time of year. Rather than refer you to the numerous previous questions we have answered on the subject, see this excerpt from one of them:

The sprouts coming up could either be suckers off the roots of your existing oaks, or seedlings from a very good crop of acorns. Either way, they need to be physically removed, by pulling them out. If the terrain permits, you could try mowing very low. If you deny the roots of acorn seedlings the ability to produce leaves long enough, the roots (and the seedling) will starve. 

No, there is no spray you can use, it would kill plants around it and even the parent tree. Mow it or pull it out, and stay ahead of it.  Any acorns that fall should be quickly picked up and discarded. If you wait for the squirrels to get them, they will just go plant them in some nice soft dirt, probably in your flower bed. If they have gotten to "sapling" size, you may have to go after them with a shovel, so try not to let them get that big. 

 

More Trees Questions

Name of the cedar tree at Lake Travis
May 27, 2009 - What is the name of the cedar tree that is at Lake Travis?
view the full question and answer

Problems with mature cottonwood in Justin TX
September 17, 2012 - I have a very large, 90" circumference, approx 60' tall, cottonwood tree in my front yard that appears to be sick. The trunk splits at about the 4' level into 2 parts. at that split is a 10" wide...
view the full question and answer

Grafting Pecan Trees
July 05, 2013 - I have planted two pecan nuts and now they are about 4 feet tall trees, they have not been grafted but can I graft one of the trees to the other and vice versa and expect pecans from then, they are he...
view the full question and answer

Denying cows access to flowers through fence
March 20, 2008 - What flowers can I plant that cows will not eat? They stick their heads through the fence and eat anything they can reach. I would like to plant something in the fence row that will not hurt the cows...
view the full question and answer

Susceptibility of Shumard oaks to oak wilt
March 25, 2006 - I have planted a red oak tree. I am still trying to locate the ID tag for the type. I planted it two or three years ago. I purchased the tree from either Lowes or Home Depot. Is there a type of red oa...
view the full question and answer

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