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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - December 03, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Protecting live oaks when removing jasmine in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Thank you for your answer to my question of eliminating a 25-year-old bed of Asian Jasmine. I have another question. There is a stand of live oak trees in this bed and as we are digging out the jasmine, there are lots of roots from the trees. I know that disturbing those roots causes little oak sprouts to pop up in the bed yet we need to dig down to rid the bed of the jasmine roots. Any suggestions on how to prevent the oak sprouts from popping up?

ANSWER:

About the same as the advice on digging out the jasmine roots, clip them off as they appear. We were unaware there were live oaks in the bed with the jasmine. You will have to be very careful not to damage those tree roots as you go after the jasmine. And finish up anything you are doing around those roots before the end of January. Any kind of open wound or cut on a live oak is going to make your trees susceptible to attack by the nitidulid beetle, and ultimately at risk for Oak Wilt. We suggest you read this article from the Texas Oak Wilt Information Partnership, in which the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a partner.

 

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