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

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

QUESTION:

Can I burn red tip photinia in my fireplace?

ANSWER:

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

Problems with non-native hollyhock in Austin
April 03, 2010 - Our hollyhocks develop small yellow spots on the leaves; these eventually spread into little swellings on the underside; I think of them as lesions. They spread and the leaf turns brown and shrivels ...
view the full question and answer

Growing Plumeria in Ohio
July 15, 2008 - Can I grow plumeria in Ohio? We were in Hawaii this past week and I brought two plants home to try to grow. Thanks a bunch.
view the full question and answer

Plant ID of invasive vine from Austin
August 21, 2013 - A friend lives in southwest Austin and has a vine that's coming up all over her yard. I am a Williamson County Master Gardener and have asked all the garden gurus in my group what it is from a photo ...
view the full question and answer

Why will my Plumbago not bloom in Buies Creek NC?
June 15, 2009 - I purchased a plumbago about two weeks ago with w few old blooms. I pinched them off, and my plant has not bloomed since. I understand they bloom profusely, and have witnessed it myself. Why isn't...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on non-native podocarpus Cupertino CA
May 22, 2011 - I recently planted a podacarpus granular and over half the leaves are turning yellow some are dead. What could be the problem? Is there something I can feed it? What should I do? I planted four & the...
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