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?


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

Wednesday - April 20, 2011

From: Lilburn, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Can non-native red-tip photinia be burned in fireplace from Lilburn GA?
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Can I burn red tip photinia in my fireplace?


We would certainly rather you burn it than plant it, as it is non-native. Here is a previous answer on that plant. Some non-natives, such as oleander, are so poisonous that you cannot even burn it, because of the poisonous vapors it will release in the air. We don't believe that is the case with photinia, but we also don't know much about burning in a fireplace, so we will see what we can find.

To begin with, burning the limbs of a shrub seems more like burning trash than using firewood. Don't just dump that day's cuttings in the fireplace and expect to be happy with the result. Wait until all the leaves are gone, they will just smoke, and don't use twigs and small branches, unless perhaps for tinder. It should be considered as a softwood, so remember that when you are reading our references.

This first reference is from the U.K, so you may not recognize the trees mentioned, but the points about seasoning and storage are good. That reference is from Wildeye: Firewood. From CBS News Is Your Fireplace Ready?

Finally, please don't plant any more photinia, even if you can use it for firewood.


More Non-Natives Questions

Teucrium resistant to Verticillium Wilt?
April 20, 2015 - Is Teucrium frutescans, or Bush Germander resistant to Verticillium Wilt? I cannot find it on a list anywhere.
view the full question and answer

Is Thyme Toxic to Cats?
April 15, 2015 - Is 'Pink Chintz' thyme, the ground cover, toxic to cats?
view the full question and answer

Wrapping a newly planted non-native Japanese maple from Fraser MI
October 01, 2013 - Does a newly planted Japanese maple need to be wrapped in burlap for the cold and snowy winter of Macomb County, Michigan?
view the full question and answer

Mosquito problem from Mesa AZ
April 07, 2014 - We have a mosquito problem in our backyard, I think they're grass Mosquitos. I wanted to get lemongrass for a deterrent but both nurseries were out so I opted for rosemary. They're ALL OVER the rose...
view the full question and answer

Various holly hybrids or selections for Pflugerville TX
March 24, 2011 - I love Savannah Hollies. I used them all the time in the Dallas area. Now that I have moved to Austin, I am wondering if I can plant them in this area. I have a soil pH of 7 and drainage is moderate. ...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center