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

Wednesday - April 20, 2011

From: Lilburn, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Can non-native red-tip photinia be burned in fireplace from Lilburn GA?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can I burn red tip photinia in my fireplace?

ANSWER:

We would certainly rather you burn it than plant it, as it is non-native. Here is a previous answer on that plant. Some non-natives, such as oleander, are so poisonous that you cannot even burn it, because of the poisonous vapors it will release in the air. We don't believe that is the case with photinia, but we also don't know much about burning in a fireplace, so we will see what we can find.

To begin with, burning the limbs of a shrub seems more like burning trash than using firewood. Don't just dump that day's cuttings in the fireplace and expect to be happy with the result. Wait until all the leaves are gone, they will just smoke, and don't use twigs and small branches, unless perhaps for tinder. It should be considered as a softwood, so remember that when you are reading our references.

This first reference is from the U.K, so you may not recognize the trees mentioned, but the points about seasoning and storage are good. That reference is from Wildeye: Firewood. From CBS News Is Your Fireplace Ready?

Finally, please don't plant any more photinia, even if you can use it for firewood.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Looking for non-native angled luffa, Luffa acutangula, seeds
March 15, 2009 - looking for angled luffa seeds in austin txThank you,your web site advertises luffa as an exception i get the run around about luffas ever where i go on the net why does evrybody advertise luffa but...
view the full question and answer

Dwarf oyster plant dying in Sunrise FL
July 06, 2012 - WHAT WOULD BE KILLING MY DWARF OYSTER PLANTS
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Chinese pistache tree in San Jose CA
May 30, 2009 - We have a Chinese Pistache tree that is between 25 and 30 years-old. Over the past couple years, we have observed more and more branches dying. They turn black, and remain leafless in the spring, when...
view the full question and answer

Problem with crapemyrtle shoots in Victoria, TX
May 13, 2009 - I have a problem with crepe myrtle shoots coming up in my flowerbed. I had to remove a large crepe myrtle tree (18" diameter stump) and digging out the stump was not possible. I killed the stump wi...
view the full question and answer

Will cattle eat non-native Star Jasmine from Mt. Pleasant TX
July 04, 2010 - Will cattle eat Star Jasmine if planted on driveway entrance from pasture?
view the full question and answer

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