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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - July 31, 2014

From: Baton Rouge, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Transplants, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Transplanting Ilex x attenuata (Savannah holly)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is it hard to take a savannah holly out of my front yard? Do the roots grow down deep or are they more shallow? I can only take a 36-40 rootball circumference because of surrounding established shrubs and irrigation system.

ANSWER:

Ilex x attenuata Ashe (Savannah or topal holly) is hybrid of Ilex cassine (Dahoon) and Ilex opaca (American holly) and, as such, doesn't appear in our Native Plant Database; however, since it is a hybrid of two native species the USDA Plants Database does list it as native.

Several sites that I visited says that the roots are fibrous and great in number and relatively small in diameter.  This leads me to believe that it doesn't have a long tap root, but you still need to go deep enough to get a good mass of roots.  Here is information about planting and transplanting from TreesUSA and here is information about transplanting another hybrid holly bush from Donnan.com.  Their very good advice suggests root pruning it in the fall and then moving it in the spring.  Transplanting a shrub or tree in the summer is  very likely to put it into transplant shock and could even kill it.

 

More Trees Questions

Is Texas Mountain Laurel Honey Toxic in Fulshear, TX?
March 11, 2012 - Toxicity of Texas Mountain Laurel HONEY I know the seeds and leaves of the Tx Mountain Laurel are toxic. But, is honey that comes from the Mountain Laurel toxic too? I heard that it is, but can'...
view the full question and answer

Stressed Ashe juniper is dropping needles
May 07, 2015 - We have a large Ashe juniper tree in our backyard, at least 20 ft tall. This past winter/spring, several limbs have died and it's dropped a ton of leaves (clumps of "needles" really). Is it slowly ...
view the full question and answer

Southern Magnolia Damaged by Deer
April 16, 2015 - I have a young Southern Magnolia (about 6 feet tall) that was damaged by deer on the main trunk. The bottom 2 feet looks okay, but where they damaged it and tore branches off, and above that, the leav...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs and trees over septic tank in Killen AL
May 20, 2013 - Our church has 5year old blue rug juniper, a crape myrtle and two shrubs I can't identify planted over the septic tank which is surrounded with concrete and asphalt. I am afraid these will cause a pr...
view the full question and answer

Wild native trees with orange blooms
March 30, 2012 - What is the wild native tree that is blooming orange blooms - as you drive down the road thru Chappel Hill, and Brenham area. I've never seen these before when we went viewing bluebonnets - however,...
view the full question and answer

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