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 - May 20, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Pruning, Shrubs, Trees
Title: How to deal with suckers on Flame-leaf Sumac
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hi! It seems you can have too much of a good thing! Our flameleaf sumac is taking over our yard. There are multiple shoots appearing in our flower beds and in the lawn. How do I get rid of the unwanted growth in a safe and environmentally responsible way? The underground root appears to be quite hardy.

ANSWER:

The Flame-leaf Sumac Rhus lanceolata (Prairie flameleaf sumac) is described as thicket-forming, small deciduous tree. The reason it forms thickets is because it produces numerous suckers. You are in for a elongated campaign if you are going to rid your yard of this pretty nuisance. I’m going to provide you with several links that will help you understand more about your adversary.

    biology and eradication with herbicide

    a forum from gardenweb.com

    a description of root barriers

And finally, someone who enjoys Sumac; 

    in praise of sumac 

 

From the Image Gallery


Prairie flameleaf sumac
Rhus lanceolata

Prairie flameleaf sumac
Rhus lanceolata

More Invasive Plants Questions

Removal of non-native invasive Ligustrum japonica from Austin
February 14, 2012 - I bought a house that I am slowly turning into a native garden, but as a teacher, I have a really small budget. One entire border of my backyard (30 feet) was planted with evil Ligustrum japonica. I l...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Purple Hyacinth from Sylvania OH
May 21, 2012 - I am wondering if I plant a Purple Hyacinth Bean vine seed under a tree and allow it to grow up the tree trunk, will it kill the tree?
view the full question and answer

Possibility of camas being raised in Edmonton, Alberta
September 18, 2007 - I live in Edmonton, Alberta, and wish to find out how "Camassia (leichtlinii white) will fare in this zone.
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers to choke out invasive species in Virginia
June 08, 2015 - My yard has open woods and dappled light with clay soil. Thirty years ago we removed huge briars and since English Ivy was getting in by itself, we thought we would let it come; unfortunately, it not ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for Bastrop TX
June 01, 2011 - I'm hoping you can help with this. Recently I have moved to Bastrop TX on what used to be Camp Swift military property. We have looked into planting grass and plants in the yard but discovered we hav...
view the full question and answer

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