En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Are baldcypress trees (Taxodium distichum) self-fertile
March 06, 2011 - We are considering planting a bald cypress in a grassy children's play area that has fair amount of clay in the soil and receives a good amount of rain water from an adjacent slope. This seems a good...
view the full question and answer

Native cherry trees for Georgia
July 06, 2007 - Is it possible to grow any type of cherry in Georgia, USA?
view the full question and answer

Difference in native and non-native cherry laurel
October 02, 2014 - I have a backyard volunteer that I have identified as a cherry laurel, but how do I tell the Carolina from the non-native? This is still young (2 years or so), and not flowering, at least not now.
view the full question and answer

Wilting American Smoke Tree in Texas
April 21, 2013 - I planted a young American smoke tree last fall (mid-November) and it put out a good show of tentative new leaves this spring. Then to keep the tree form I clipped some little shrubby start ups at the...
view the full question and answer

Distance of oak tree to existing driveway in San Antonio
July 07, 2009 - How close can I plant a live oak tree (15 gal) next to an existing driveway. I have about 3 feet space to plant between a fence and a driveway. This is the best spot to provide future shade. My concer...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center