Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
1 rating

Saturday - May 02, 2015

From: Abilene, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seasonal Tasks, Problem Plants, Trees
Title: Oak Sucker Reprise
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

----Original Question---- SUNDAY - JULY 06, 2014 Title: Live Oak Suckers Reprise, Austin TX QUESTION: Referring to an entry dated March 11, 2011 about Live Oak suckers - what happened to the suckers covered with newspaper and cardboard? ---Followup Question---- Update on the experiment and how did you prepare the area before laying down the newspaper, cardboard, and 4-6" of mulch?

ANSWER:

For completeness – This link is to the original question/answer:   Live Oak Suckers

This was followed by a “how did it work” question some years later:  Live Oak Suckers Reprise, Austin TX

As this was just written last summer, it’s pretty current. I still consider it a success and the touchup this winter/spring seemed easier than before.  As planned last summer I refreshed the layers.  For the majority of the area under my Oaks, this involved raking up the mulch, strategically adding some more cardboard, and then covering it all with fresh mulch.  I had already gone through and removed all the suckers as much as possible 2-3” below ground level.

  I also did another 50 square feet for the first time.  We had gardening supplies there before. It was a low sucker forest.  I had been using the weedwacker and my hedge trimmer on them as appropriate before.   The initial preparation was pretty much the same – but there’s more work involved.   I went through and pulled & cut on those things until they all were trimmed off 2” below the surface. Then I placed cardboard & mulch as before and hopefully I’ll have a couple years of peace before I need to do much more of the hardcore sucker cleaning!

 

From the Image Gallery


Escarpment live oak
Quercus fusiformis

Escarpment live oak
Quercus fusiformis

Escarpment live oak
Quercus fusiformis

More Trees Questions

Need source for seeds or plants of Pinus remota in Johnson City, TX..
October 18, 2011 - I cannot seem to find a source for Pinus remota or papershell pinyon pine. Who Grows this? I understand it is rare and would love to try it here in Johnson City. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Can poisonous seed of wild plum be safely removed after steaming from Seymour IA
June 20, 2013 - I read on a related questions that you said the pit/seeds of all wild plums are poisonous. My question is this, can I juice the entire fruit for making jelly without removing the pit first? I have a s...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from The Woodlands TX
July 22, 2013 - Your plant database does not distinguish 2 native tree species. Common names for these 2 trees: American hophornbeam and ironwood or musclewood. These common names are used for both trees - even m...
view the full question and answer

Large tree and smaller specimen tree for Austin, Texas
May 01, 2007 - We are in the process of removing two Silver Maples in our front yard planted by the previous owner of our house. We live close to the Wildflower Center and have very shallow soil on top of rock. We...
view the full question and answer

Why isn't my recently planted Mexican Redbud growing in Georgetown, TX?
April 11, 2010 - I planted a container-grown Mexican Redbud in early March. As of April 5th, it is showing no signs of buds or leaves. Other redbuds in the area (possibly Texas redbuds) have been blooming for severa...
view the full question and answer

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