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?

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
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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - August 10, 2010

From: San Pedro, CA
Region: California
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Need help controling suckers from an ornamental plum in San Pedro, CA.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have an ornamental plum tree in my garden which produces a lot of suckers in my vegetable beds. I do not want to use harmful chemicals and cutting them back is a hopeless venture and leaves small stumps. Is there any ecologically safe solution? Thank you.

ANSWER:

There are several trees that are referred to as ornamental plum, one possibility is Prunus cerasifera. This plant is a native to Asia, and as such, falls out side our area of focus since the mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.

However, one of the things that members of the genus Prunus do is produce suckers. These are stems that grow up from the roots, which give rise to thickets in their native habitats. This link to Hortiscope discusses the process and answers several questions about growing plums. Chemical control of the suckers in your vegetable bed is not a viable option, so cutting them back may be your only choice.  Cut them below the soil line for greatest effect. An answer to a previous question which describes the process of removing oak tree suckers may be helpful.  

For a source of help closer to home, contact the folks at the office of LA County Cooperative Extension.

 

 

More Trees Questions

Elimination of live oak adventitious sprouts in San Angelo TX
July 28, 2009 - 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?
view the full question and answer

Time to transplant an Eastern Redbud in Pearland, TX
November 17, 2010 - When is the best time in the fall to transplant an Eastern Redbud tree in Pearland, TX? We have one approximately 6 feet tall in the back yard and want to move it to the front ASAP.
view the full question and answer

Replacing a Mexican ash with a live oak in Rockport TX
April 25, 2010 - I live in the Texas Coastal Bend (Rockport, TX). I recently lost a huge Mexican Ash, probably 45 years old. The trunk measures 11'6" at ground level, and gets progressively larger from there up. Its...
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen to replace non-native chinaberry
November 08, 2011 - Looking for a native evergreen tree to replace a fruitless Chinaberry that was 35 years old. We have clay soil for about 3 feet and then you hit rock. Suggestions would be appreciated.
view the full question and answer

Trees for small spaces from San Jose CA
May 09, 2011 - What tree can you plant in a corner of a yard 3ft from a fence? What is the best shade tree for a small yard with a pool?
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center