En Español

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
4 ratings

Wednesday - February 06, 2008

From: Richmond, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Trees
Title: Transplanting yaupon (Ilex vomitoria) trees, concern about cultivars
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would like to place some yaupon in the perimeter areas of my yard. I own other rural property that has an abundance of yaupon and was considering trying to transplant some small bushes. Is yaupon transplantable? In the alternative, a local nursery sells a cultivar variety of yaupon called Pride of Houston. The labels say that they are improved for berry production and shape, but I'm concerned about using a cultivar. Are they genetically different and will they harm the wild yaupon growing in the immediate area through interbreeding?

ANSWER:

According to Jill Nokes in How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest:

"Most holly species are frequently and successfully transplanted from the wild or from field-grown nursery operations in the winter...."

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon), a member of the Family Aquifoliaceae (Holly Family), should readily transplant. The time to do this is now, mid-winter. It is very important, of course, to get as much of the root ball as possible when you dig up your trees. Here are some other tips in Transplanting Trees and Shrubs, from the Forestry Extension of the University of Iowa and How to Transplant a Young Tree from wikiHow.

It isn't very likely that this cultivar would be of any harm to your 'wild' yaupons even though there are, no doubt, genetic differences between the 'Pride of Houston' yaupon cultivar and your 'wild' yaupons. Genetic differences are the reason behind the improved cultivar's ability to produce more berries and have a different shape. Whether this cultivar was produced by selective breeding of trees that showed the desirable traits and/or propagated from cuttings of trees found with those traits, the forms of the genes responsible for the improved traits almost certainly are already present in some percentage of the wild population. Although there are transgenic crops being grown, producing them isn't a cheap or simple process; and, it isn't very likely that the beautiful, but humble, yaupon would have been given 'alien' genes to improve it.


Ilex vomitoria

Ilex vomitoria

Ilex vomitoria

 

 

 

More Transplants Questions

Replanting of non-native Christmas Palm from Sarasota FL
November 28, 2012 - Do you know of a proven technique to plant a Christmas Palm in a built-in concrete pool deck planter box - using gravel around the soil root ball to delay the root bound condition we just ripped out?
view the full question and answer

What soil to plant native plants in Huntsville TX
April 14, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently purchased several plants at the Spring Plant Sale and would like to know when planting them, what type of soil should I use. I typically use partial native soil an...
view the full question and answer

Conditions for wisteria bloom on Ontario, Canada
November 05, 2005 - I live in Ontario Canada, and about 4 years ago I bought a shrub which was called wisteria. I loved this bush when I visited a cousin out in British Columbia. The problem is it has no trouble growing ...
view the full question and answer

Dwarf golden cypress outgrowing their space
December 28, 2008 - I planted two dwarf golden cypress on opposite sides of a dwarf alberta spruce in a small bed by the front door. After 4 years I have to severely prune back the dwarf cypress in spring as they will sp...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing tree for Wilmington NC
May 22, 2010 - What kind of fast-growing tree would you plant in Wilmington, NC?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center