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

Tuesday - July 05, 2011

From: Hellertown, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Pruning, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Yucca blades damaged by weedeater in Hellertown PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can I cut off the blades of a Yucca plant that have been eaten on the edges with a weed wacker and are very unsightly looking? Can they be cut back to the flower shaft?

ANSWER:

In future, promise to keep your weed wacker well away from the yucca, tree bark or any plant you are interested in keeping. Those things can easily damage a plant that will leak sap and invite insects to come feed on it, often resulting in disease and/or death of the plant.

Extracted from a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on trimming yucca:

Yes, you can certainly prune off the damaged blades, and do so clear back to the trunk. If the damaged blades are all close to the ground, just trim evenly all the way around, which will make the trunk of the yucca look longer, and keep lower leaves out of the range of the machinery (which you promised not to use around there again.)

For this, you will need long pruning shears, and wear long sleeves and pants, leather gloves and a pair of goggles to protect your eyes. Be careful how you discard the trimmed-off portions, they will poke right through a plastic trash bag, but you can find heavy duty paper trash bags that should suffice. And don't try them in a compost pile-it takes them a long time to decompose, and they maintain their stickeriness throughout. 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Evergreen for sunny, dry area under a maple in Connecticut
October 10, 2015 - I have a sloped, very sunny, dry area under a maple. I was wondering if Sweet Fern would be a likely candidate for this area. I would like it to be evergreen and to be able to survive under mounds of...
view the full question and answer

Toxic trees and shrubs in Pennsylvania
September 30, 2008 - I have a long property edge that I have been gradually transforming from a former cattle pasture into a hedgerow of native trees and shrubs. Cattle still graze on the other side. Are there any toxic...
view the full question and answer

Beautyberry Dying Back
August 06, 2015 - I've got an American Beautyberry which I planted in the spring. It's now about 2-3 feet tall and has 3 trunks (or limbs). It's in an area which gets about 5 hours of direct sun per day and I've be...
view the full question and answer

Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus) in Jasper TX
October 27, 2011 - Carolina allspice (calycanthus floridus) grows in my yard in East Texas. It is native to the eastern U.S., but I notice there is a variety whose distribution extends through Louisiana. Since I live in...
view the full question and answer

Hardiness of Acerola bush for Conway AR
January 25, 2013 - How far north can you grow an Acerola bush? I live in Conway, AR, which is north of Little Rock.We used to be Zone 7, but now we are on the edge of Zone 8, I believe.
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center