Contact Us Host an Event 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

Wednesday - May 12, 2010

From: Kingwood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Compost and Mulch, Turf, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Pine bark on non-native St. Augustine grass in Kingwood TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I had two large Pine trees cut down. In the process of cutting the trees down there is a lot of pine bark from the tree on my St Augustine grass. Will this affect the growth of my grass?

ANSWER:

Anything that shuts off light and perhaps diverts water is going to adversely affect your grass. It could also create the opportunity for mildew diseases to attack your grass. You could rake it up and compost it, or use some of the smaller, or broken-up pieces as mulch in your flower beds. The important thing is that it not be covering up the leaves (or blades of grass) of any plant, as they need the light for photosynthesis, to continue to manufacture food for the whole plant. The pine bark will add to the acidity of the soil, so if you are trying to raise some plants that need a more alkaline soil, it might be better not to use it in your garden at all.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native herbs being burned by pool chlorine in St. Petersburg, FL
July 11, 2010 - My herb garden is next to my swimming pool, which is serviced by a company using chlorine. I have found that on the two unsuccessful attempt to establish my herb garden, the herbs burn off after the p...
view the full question and answer

Identification of native blackhaw or non-native ligustrum in Austin
January 16, 2005 - I have a native tree in my yard, ca.15-20 feet tall, that has glossy, rounded dark leaves and small clusters of dark purplish berries. (It also has very weak limbs - perhaps grows too fast for its ow...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native Indian Banyan Tree
October 06, 2005 - I was given a Ficus benghalensis (Indian Banyan Tree) cutting, rooted in water. I need advice on how to plant it, what kind of dirt, best type of pot ie. plastic, glass, etc. The cutting is 1 foot i...
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native avocado outside from Austin
December 27, 2012 - My son has a very large avocado tree that he rooted from a pit that is currently growing in a large container. However, it has gotten too big to winter inside. Can it be planted in the ground in Aust...
view the full question and answer

Sap oozing from non-native Chinese pistache in San Antonio
September 07, 2011 - I live in San Antonio, and my chinese pistache is exuding copious amounts of a sticky sap from old trim sites and from the trunk itself. The tree is about 12 years old and has been healthy up until no...
view the full question and answer

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