Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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.

 

More Pruning Questions

Pruning lower branches of Cordia Boissieri from San Antonio
December 08, 2013 - My Texas Wild Olive Tree is about 6 feet high now. I bought it at the 2012 plant sale. This past summer it put on new branches near the base of the tree which I would like to cut off (to encourage u...
view the full question and answer

Conditions for wisteria bloom on Ontario, Canada
November 05, 2005 - I live in Ontario Canada, and about 4 years ago I bought a shrub which was called wisteria. I loved this bush when I visited a cousin out in British Columbia. The problem is it has no trouble growing ...
view the full question and answer

Live oak leaves not dropping from Austin
April 29, 2014 - We had a 65 gallon live oak planted last October. We watered it regularly and it was green all through the winter. In March the leaves started to turn brown but never dropped, as they should have. ...
view the full question and answer

Non-Blooming Bridal Wreath Spirea in PA
April 23, 2015 - We have 12 - 15 Bridal Wreath Spirea across our backyard. We have lived here for about 10 years (the plants longer). They have always bloomed except last year (2014) several didn't bloom and this y...
view the full question and answer

Removal of Carolina Jasmine in San Antonio
March 02, 2009 - We are attempting to permanently remove large old-growth Carolina Yellow Jasmine, Gelsemium sempervirens bushes from our property. The bushes are cut down. Any suggestions for stump/root removal (mec...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.