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
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 Pruning Questions

Non-native Pride of Barbados from San Antonio
August 26, 2011 - I have some very successful wildly blooming "Dwarf Pride of Barbados" plants growing in my xeriscape garden. Each year I cut them back to the ground. I have just purchased a new variety called "...
view the full question and answer

Will catalpa roots damage a nearby swimming pool?
July 13, 2013 - Will a catalpa tree cause problems to my swimming pool? It is 8 feet away and I cut all the branches off every fall. It then grows back to about 6 feet in diameter an makes a great garden feature but ...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of tree poppy from Livermore CA
May 29, 2013 - We have a Dendromecon rigida which has been in place for about 10 years and is doing fine. But the older growth gets dry, brown and crinkly, while the newer growth is bright and lush. I would like t...
view the full question and answer

Optimal time for trimming Fall asters
July 04, 2014 - RE: fall asters What is the latest date in the summer that I can trim my fall asters and still get a good amount of blooms in October?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen privacy screen 8 feet or less
January 29, 2016 - In needing to plant an evergreen privacy screen, what is the tallest Ceniza variety? I'm having great difficulty finding an evergreen hedge material 8' or less. After having taken a class in pla...
view the full question and answer

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