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
2 ratings

Sunday - April 29, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Vines
Title: Eradicating trumpet vine runners in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How do I eradicate trumpet vine runners from my lawn? Will it kill my pecan tree?

ANSWER:

Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) is a native, colorful flowering vine, growing natively through most of North America, but most invasive in the Southeast. Follow the plant link to learn about the risks of having the plant in your yard. 

Also, Dave's Garden, which is a forum, has 64 negative comments on the plant.

From Floridata, more comments on invasiveness of Campsis radicans.

Previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer

Conclusion: How to keep it from being invasive? Don't plant it and don't let it into your garden from anywhere else. It can definitely harm your pecan tree if it gets up in it and covers the leaves, preventing sunlight from reaching those leaves and also preventing photosynthesis, whereby the plant uses the energy of the sun to produce food for the plant as well as oxygen for our air.

Obviously, you already have it. We can pass along some of the suggestions for controlling it. First; patience. Even if you never get rid of it completely, it will only get worse if you don't stay after it year after year. Second: herbicide. Do NOT spray herbicide, this will only damage the tree, other desirable plants in your garden and the environment, but won't get close to all those Trumpet Vine roots underground. You say it's in your lawn-mow it, low and regularly. Mowing won't kill it, but it will slow it down. Get a bottle of an undiluted wide spectrum herbicide and some disposable sponge brushes. With garden nippers, clip off the stems close to the ground and immediately paint the cut edge of the stem in hopes you get it into the system of the vine before the cut place heals over in self defense. This makes it possible for the herbicide to actually get to the roots. Sometimes. If you have big roots going up a tree, by all means, pull them away, cut the vine and, again, paint the fresh cut with the herbicide.

The only way to keep a plant from being invasive is to never plant it.

 

From the Image Gallery


Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

More Invasive Plants Questions

Removing non-native plants appearing in Austin in early spring
March 14, 2012 - In order to know which plants to keep and which to remove, is there a source to look up and identify common non-native plants that are seen in Austin about this time of the year (late winter, early Sp...
view the full question and answer

Growing native vines in pots from Houston
May 28, 2012 - I am writing in regards to your often mentioned issue of plants not doing as well in pots and in the ground. After last years drought, i moved all the plants I had that were in danger of dying of t...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating Arrow Weed from property in Mohave Valley AZ
July 22, 2010 - How do I get rid of Arrowweeds on my property?
view the full question and answer

Toxicity and invasiveness of Scarlet Wisteria
May 04, 2007 - I recently purchased seeds for Scarlet Wisteria (Chinese rattlebox tree). I spoke to a neighbor about this and she warned me not to plant them as they were poisonous to hummingbirds. Can you clarify...
view the full question and answer

How to eliminate Sawgrass from a small lake in Lindale, TX?
February 23, 2015 - We live on a small acre lake (about 65 acres) and the majority of the lake is surrounded by what the locals are calling saw grass. From the description on the website, I believe they are correct. The...
view the full question and answer

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