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

Rhododendrons Hydrangeas in Indiana
December 13, 2007 - I live in very southern Indiana. Our home faces west and at the front of our home I have planted three rhododendrons. The furthest south is growing well the two to the north not so well. All three h...
view the full question and answer

Soil for native Chilopsis linearis and Salvia greggii
February 08, 2010 - I want to plant a desert willow and a salvia greggii in my small lot. The developer used sandy loam to fill in the small garden in the front. I am 73 and a bit impaired. Do I really need to remove ...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of Bauhinia lunarioides
May 29, 2008 - I have a Bauhinia variegata..when is the best time to prune it? it tends to grow horizontally..where do you clip off the limbs?
view the full question and answer

Trees and other plants for privacy along lake shoreline
March 09, 2013 - We are purchasing a new home that has a 2 acre lake. We would like to add some plants/trees for privacy around the shore line. Can you suggest something that would fill in nicely and is strong enoug...
view the full question and answer

Looking for juniper trees (Juniperus ashei) for sale
December 05, 2008 - Does anyone know anyone that sells Juniper trees in pots - the central Texas kind.
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center