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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.

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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.

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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!

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Monday - August 09, 2010

From: Gonzales, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Trees
Title: Tool for removing live oak root shoots in Gonzales TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I've read your answer to live oak root shoots. You said to get rid of them by going 2 to 4 inches below the surface and cutting them. What tool is best for this shoot removal? I'm getting very tired of removing these with hand snippers. Thanks for your help.

ANSWER:

What you need is nippers with longer handles. They are basically hand nippers with larger blades and about 3-foot wooden or metal  handles. Without wishing to promote one brand over another, here is a page of garden loppers from Amazon. You should be able to buy them in a local hardware or home improvement store or order them online. Since you will be digging down in the dirt to get as far down on the suckers as you can, plan to keep the blades clean, sharp and oiled.  You will still have to bend over some, but not get down on your knees in the dirt. Been there, done that.

 

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