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

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 Banana Shrub from Houston
May 01, 2014 - My 7' beloved Banana Shrub (magnolia) has white dots on top of the leaves and nasty black stuff covering the backside of the leaves. The plant is dropping leaves. What can I do to save it? I has bee...
view the full question and answer

Edibility of native and non-native wild onions
July 07, 2006 - I'd like to know if the seeds of the wild onions found in southeastern Pennsylvania (possibly called Allium ascalonicum) are edible at all- these are the seeds that grow on top of the stalk, after ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native semi-dwarf peach tree
May 03, 2010 - We live in Marana Arizona and have a semi dwarf peach tree, that is only 6 feet tall and is 3 years old. This year we have about 800 small peaches on it and all of the branches and on the ground. We h...
view the full question and answer

Removing St. Augustine, replacing with native plants
October 06, 2007 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, always excited to talk to the Green Guru himself. I've recently purchased a house in South Austin and am interested in establishing a small, 500+ sq ft, prairie grass and wi...
view the full question and answer

Invasive, non-native Eragrostis cilianensis, stink grass
March 22, 2005 - I am writing a children's book for Darby Creek Publishing about smelly plants and animals. I have read that Eragrostis cilianensis is one of the few bad-smelling grasses. Would the purpose of the o...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center