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
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

Why does newly transplanted Brazos Penstemon look bad
June 09, 2015 - I bought Brazos penstemon from a nursery as well as several other drought resistant plants. I have noticed new buds on the salvia and blanket flower and changes in leaf color on the kaleidoscope, but...
view the full question and answer

Mystic Spires salvia in transplant shock
July 04, 2008 - Hello. I live in Taylor, Tx. Just outside Austin, Texas. I recently planted mystic spires. One gallons and will receive the hot afternoon sun. All the research says they can tolerate this location. Th...
view the full question and answer

Starting transplants of native Pleopeltis polypodioides
January 15, 2009 - I would like to know how to start Pleopeltis polypodioides (resurrection fern) growing in my oak trees. I have a source for the plants but do not know how to start the transplants on the limbs of the...
view the full question and answer

Will Texas Mountain Laurel roots damage pipes in Tucson AZ?
May 20, 2010 - We have a Texas Laurel tree in our back yard,and it is doing fine, and we are are planning to put another one in the front yard close to the house will the root system attack our pipes ? no septic sys...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bud out of nuttall oak in Albany GA
April 26, 2010 - We planted a nutall oak in the fall of 09. It seemed to fare well during the winter. It is now spring and all of our other trees are budding out. The limbs are flexible. Not breaking off easily like t...
view the full question and answer

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