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

Monday - August 09, 2010

From: Gonzales, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Trees
Title: Tool for removing live oak root shoots in Gonzales TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I've read your answer to live oak root shoots. You said to get rid of them by going 2 to 4 inches below the surface and cutting them. What tool is best for this shoot removal? I'm getting very tired of removing these with hand snippers. Thanks for your help.

ANSWER:

What you need is nippers with longer handles. They are basically hand nippers with larger blades and about 3-foot wooden or metal  handles. Without wishing to promote one brand over another, here is a page of garden loppers from Amazon. You should be able to buy them in a local hardware or home improvement store or order them online. Since you will be digging down in the dirt to get as far down on the suckers as you can, plan to keep the blades clean, sharp and oiled.  You will still have to bend over some, but not get down on your knees in the dirt. Been there, done that.

 

More Trees Questions

Need plants beneficial or attractive to bees in Dripping Springs, TX
January 27, 2014 - Can you provide a specific list of plants beneficial or attractive to honey bees in the Texas Hill Country (we raise bees in Dripping Springs, TX.) Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Leaves dropping from a potted Mesquite
August 11, 2014 - I have a Prosopis pubescens (Screwbean Mesquite) that I purchased at a nursery in Alpine, TX just a few miles away from me. It was a in nursery style black plastic container. The mesquite is perhaps a...
view the full question and answer


February 24, 2015 - I have an Ehretia anacua in the way of possible development of a new building and I have a few questions.\r\nWhat is the typical life span of that tree and are the roots sensitive to compaction and ...
view the full question and answer

Mixed native plantings for steep slope in Austin
April 18, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: We wrote to you recently about plantings for a fairly steep slope in a park in Austin. We had asked about grasses and perennials. An article about planting on slopes in this mo...
view the full question and answer

Mountain Laurel growing in East Texas
April 24, 2008 - I found a plant that looks like a Texas Mountain Laurel growing wild on a fenceline in east texas, near Canton. It is a small shrub/tree and has flowers like wisteria. It has "hairy" stems, they ar...
view the full question and answer

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