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?


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

Friday - August 17, 2012

From: Fayetteville, TN
Region: Select Region
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Controlling seeding of non- native, invasive Paulownia from Fayetteville TN
Answered by: Barbara Medford


My husband planted a Paulownia tree against my advice about eight years ago. This summer it has huge seed pods. How do I keep the seeds from invading the wooded area of our property?


Time machine. Go back 8 years ago and make it clear to your husband that the tree goes or you do. We know of no way to keep seeds from going where they wish. And sprouting. And damaging your wooded area.

We would begin by going to the source and getting rid of the original tree and any others that have sprouted. Then, vigilance. You will have to learn what the early seedlings look like and snatch them out of the ground as quickly as they sprout. This could take years, but compared to the damage they could do to the wooded area, you will probably feel it's worth it. Here are some previous answers on Paulownia from Mr. Smarty Plants. We are sorry you didn't find us 8 years ago when you really needed us. Each link has others and some may be duplicates.

San Marcos, TX

Westminster, MD

Austin, TX



More Trees Questions

Lightning protection of smooth bark cypress
October 05, 2008 - I have been told that the smooth bark cypress stores a large amount of water at its base and if lightning strikes, it will explode and extinguish the flames. Could you tell me if this is a myth? I'...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating black locust volunteers in Rockville MD
September 27, 2011 - I am a landscape designer whose client has a very large, mature black locust in her front yard. Not surprisingly, she also has multitudes of black locust volunteers popping up all over her yard. The...
view the full question and answer

Need to replace a Silver Maple in Illinois.
July 10, 2011 - My father recently had a tornado take out a 50 year old silver maple. He is looking to replace it, but he is looking for something with interesting summer color; as he put it not "green." I am try...
view the full question and answer

Native cherry trees for Georgia
July 06, 2007 - Is it possible to grow any type of cherry in Georgia, USA?
view the full question and answer

Changing color of crape myrtle blooms
July 08, 2008 - I have 5 well established crape myrtle trees whose blooms are a very light lavender/pink color. I would like to know if there is any way to deepen or change the color of the blooms. I would prefer a m...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center