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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - May 23, 2007

From: Del Valle, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Replanting members of Rosaceae family in same spot
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

HI Mr. Smarty Plants We had two apple (yellow fruit) trees besides out house and they died. Is it ok to replant in the same place with other trees without being afraid something is wrong with the soil? We would like to replace these with some fast growing trees. We have a couple of pecan trees but want something different. In a response to another question you mentioned the following trees-are these also go for our area? Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) Shumard Red Oak (Quercus shumardii) Escarpment Live Oak (Quercus fusiformis) Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia) Escarpment Black Cherry (Prunus serotina var. eximia) Some smaller ornamental trees with showy blooms that you could use as foreground or accent plantings include: Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) Texas Redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis) Mexican Buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa) What about fruit trees? Where would be a good place to purchase these? Thank you so much for this avenue on communication.

ANSWER:

If your apple trees died from a root-borne disease, then it would not be a good idea to replant trees in the same family, Rosaceae. Unfortunately for you, most common fruit trees including apples (Malus), pears (Pyrus), and plums, peaches and cherries (Prunus) as well as many other fruiting tree genera are members of Rosaceae. If you know that your trees died due to some other problem, then it would probably be safe to replant any tree you wanted to plant there.

In your area (Del Valle, TX), late fall to early winter is the best time to plant trees. Late winter to early spring is also good. You can purchase native Texas trees - fruiting and non-fruiting - at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center plant sale held each April and October. Other trees can be purchased at any local nursery.

 

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