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

Friday - October 28, 2011

From: Westminster, MD
Region: Select Region
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Control of Paulownia tomentosa from Westminster MD
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have heard that there is a type of herbicide that is to be applied to slashes made in the outer layer of invasive trees such as Paulownia. This type of application is reputed to prevent the little seedlings that sprout from the roots if the Paulownia is simply cut to the ground. Do you have suggestions?

ANSWER:

Let us start by saying there are two things we don't like-the first is the use of non-native plants, such as Paulownia tomentosa, Princess Tree. The second thing we don't like is trying chemical fixes that endanger other plants, animals (including humans) and the environment. From Texasinvasives.org, in which the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower is an active partner, read this information from the Texas Invasives Database.  Mr. Smarty Plants never recommends plants that are neither native to North America nor to the areas in which they grow naturally. One of the main reasons for this is the possibility of invasiveness, taking over and pushing out natives that are adapted to the climate, moisture and soils of the area.

We do not pretend to be an expert nor to have any experience with the methods suggested but we will refer you to a couple of websites that seem to contain the information to which you are referring:

DCNR Invasive Exotic Plant Tutorial, Species management and control information on Paulonia tomentosa

From the University of Kentucky, Forest Health-Invasive Plant Hit List: Paulownia

We urge you to read all the information on these websites before making any kind of decision, and also to consult with a trained and licensed professional in the application of herbicides. We also frequently recommend that you start with the local Extension office, which may be able to steer you in the right direction on local laws and rules on herbicides. Your office is University of Maryland Extension Office for Carroll Co.

One last word: the best way to deal with an invasive plant is to never plant it!

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Japanese lilac trees in Lehi UT
July 31, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, We live in Utah and this past spring planted three Japanese Lilac Trees in the lawn next to the deck hoping they would one day provide some shade. They are planted in full sun ...
view the full question and answer

Specifications for a property in Corning CA
March 29, 2012 - Drought resistant, deer resistant, low growing (ground cover), and shade tolerant request: I am looking for a variety of species that not only fit the above preferences, but also a few other things. ...
view the full question and answer

Care of non-native house plant
December 09, 2007 - Please let me know how to keep a dieffenbachia plant healthy and growing. I notice some leaves turn yellow. I water them once a week and keep it on the windowsill with some sunlight. Should I be do...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for southwest side of house in Birmingham, AL
April 18, 2009 - I would like to know what I can plant on the southwest side of my house where there is a brick foundation and is really hot in the summer. I've tried irises and day lilies-not good. Suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Privacy screening from Phoenix AZ
April 14, 2013 - I live in the center of Phoenix, Az. On the eastern side of my house we have some 2 story condos next door. The width of the side yard is about 12'-15' and it gets lots of shade. I also have my powe...
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