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

Thursday - January 26, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Trees
Title: Controlling oak suckers in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Austin TX and have one particular native Oak tree in my back yard with a large bed around it. I don't plan on planting anything else in the bed since it is already nicely landscaped along the back & edges of the bed, however, the root system sends up scads of "suckers" that are several inches high throughout the bed, requiring hours of continual, back-bending work to cut them off at ground level. I've put down porous landscape fabric & covered with mulch, but it only seems to be temporary. Is there anything else I can do to eliminate this constant, unsightly problem?

ANSWER:

This is a common complaint in Central Texas, so we have an excellent previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer that should give you the help you need.

 

More Trees Questions

Offer to send Bumelia to Kansas from Central Texas.
April 02, 2010 - If you send my email to the person who wanted the Bumelia lanuginosa (synonym: Sideroxylon langinosum), I will dig some for him/her.
view the full question and answer

Time to trim oak trees in Austin
October 29, 2011 - We have several large oak trees in desperate need of a good trimming. Given that the trees have had a very stressful drought year, when would be the best time to trim them?
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive carrot wood tree losing leaves in Alpine CA
April 22, 2014 - My carrot wood tree is losing all of its leaves. The tree is about 15foot high & 13 years old. Could it be gophers? The tree was trimmed 1 year ago.
view the full question and answer

Texas native mulberry tree
May 01, 2005 - My family recently moved to Kyle, TX (north of San Marcos, south of Austin). I am delighted to discover a dewberry tree in our yard. I have never heard of such a thing. Is this a common species?...
view the full question and answer

Does Helasia diptera absorb toxic substances from Dover Plains NY
March 09, 2012 - Dear Mr. Plants, Halesia carolina is described as absorbing toxic substances: herbicides, pesticides and pollutants from water, air and soil. Does Halesia diptera do the same? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

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