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
1 rating

Friday - December 17, 2010

From: NYC, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Orange trumpet creeper parasitic to oaks in New York City?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is the Orange Trumpet Creeper a parasite to oak trees? My concern is that a neighbor with a tall oak has a vine growing up it and I wonder if it could damage or weaken the tree?

ANSWER:

Somewhat to our surprise, because we always thought of Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) as being confined to the southeastern United States, it is actually native to New York, and to the New York City area, according to this USDA Plant Profile map. It is not parasitic to oak trees, in the sense of taking nutrients from the tree itself, but can certainly become invasive and damage the tree, even killing it by preventing the sun from getting to the food-producing leaves of the tree.

We suggest you learn more about this plant from our webpage on it by following the above link. You also might be interested in the many negative accounts from people who have grown it, found in Dave's Garden Forum.

Beyond warning your neighbor that his tree might be in for a bad time with the vine, about all you can do is keep them from coming up on your property. They seed themselves prolifically, and the birds help spread the seed. Mowing in your area to keep them from getting big enough to leaf out is one line of defense. Another is to learn what the new sprouts look like and pull them out when they first emerge.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Campsis radicans


Campsis radicans


Campsis radicans


Campsis radicans

 

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

White evening primrose from Baton Rouge LA
April 16, 2013 - My husband and I have a disagreement about Mexican Primroses. I believe I have seen patches of them which are pure white. He believes they must be faded pink ones. Do white ones occasionally grow? ...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating smartweed from pasture in Oswego NY
August 28, 2009 - How do I get rid of smartweed in my pasture?
view the full question and answer

Plants for north side from Dale TX
February 10, 2012 - What native trees and bushes can I plant on the north side of house? Can I use corn meal( I NEED FIGHT A GRASS) in flowerbed and then plant native wildlife seeds(FLOWERS)?
view the full question and answer

Is Early May OK for Roguing Bastard Cabbage?
March 28, 2013 - Hi Smarty:) I'm trying to determine the window for seed set for bastard cabbage. I'm hoping to get about 250 volunteers out to remove it but the date is schedule in early May. Judging by the infl...
view the full question and answer

Care for a Campsis radicans in Yakima, WA
October 08, 2008 - I have a Campsis radicans it is in a 7" pot and the plant is 20" tall. It was a clipping given to me by a lady that is now out of town. My question is: I live in zone 6a so do I leave it in the p...
view the full question and answer

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