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 Trees Questions

Cedar Elm trees for Rockport, TX
January 08, 2010 - Cedar Elm trees for the Gulf Coast area? I live alongside a fresh water lake with sandy soil that is 2 miles from the bays. Along the shoreline, I'd like to replace a Weeping Willow that is in decl...
view the full question and answer

Possible transplant shock in Red Oak in Albany, TX
October 20, 2015 - We planted a new tree last spring which we were told was a Texas Red Oak. The soil where it was planted is hard clay. We have had a watering bag on it and have watered an average of 2x per week throug...
view the full question and answer

Trees blooming white in East Tennessee in April
April 07, 2010 - What kind of tree is blooming now, 4\6\10 in the mountains of east TN. They have white blooms?
view the full question and answer

Need recommendations for privacy screen in Richmond, VA
February 27, 2013 - Hello, I read through the previous posts on privacy screen plantings in the Mid Atlantic region. There was a lot of great information, but I has a specific question that was not answered. I would li...
view the full question and answer

Trees Planted Over Underground Parking Garage
July 13, 2014 - I live in an apartment complex. We have trees planted over an underground parking lot. I know the names of all the trees and I want to know how much soil they should be planted in to NOT cause damage ...
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