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

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

Would like a small tree for yard in Las Vegas, NV.
May 31, 2013 - would like a small tree with root system that grows down not spread on surface. Had raywood and medesto ash tree both died of desease. Diagnosed by arborist. Stated that these trees to big for my yard...
view the full question and answer

Cause of chlorosis on dogwood
July 23, 2007 - Help!! I have been gone for three days, when I came home and looked out my back door I discovered that one of my huge dogwoods was turning yellow. We have had more than our share of rain this year and...
view the full question and answer

Seedlings of elm trees in Illinois
June 09, 2008 - I have what I believe to be young elm trees sprouting throughout my front yard. I will pull them up and over night more sprout and will be 5+ inches tall. I would like to know how to get rid of them, ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Eve's Necklace from Round Mountain TX
April 16, 2013 - We have dozens of small Eve's necklace plants coming up in our large yard. I would like to share them with my friends who aren't so lucky. Many years ago, I tried to transplant one, and it didn't...
view the full question and answer

Screen of Thuja Occidentalis on fire-damaged property in Bastrop TX
May 04, 2013 - I want to plant a screen of Thuja Occidentalis on the east side of our driveway. It is in the burn area of Bastrop, TX. None of our trees survived. Will Thuja Occidentalis grow here? I saw some specim...
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