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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.

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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.

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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!

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Thursday - January 26, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Trees
Title: Controlling oak suckers in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Austin TX and have one particular native Oak tree in my back yard with a large bed around it. I don't plan on planting anything else in the bed since it is already nicely landscaped along the back & edges of the bed, however, the root system sends up scads of "suckers" that are several inches high throughout the bed, requiring hours of continual, back-bending work to cut them off at ground level. I've put down porous landscape fabric & covered with mulch, but it only seems to be temporary. Is there anything else I can do to eliminate this constant, unsightly problem?

ANSWER:

This is a common complaint in Central Texas, so we have an excellent previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer that should give you the help you need.

 

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