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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - July 17, 2008

From: Lago Vista, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Trees
Title: Transplanting live oaks in summer
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a need to transplant a live oak tree on a home building site. The need is now, the house is almost completely built out and the owners did not prep the site by moving trees or prepping them to be moved and now need a plan to try and relocate the trees on the site within the next week. What is the best way to try and save/replant these treasures in light of these circumstances. Thanks

ANSWER:

One of the problems of moving a live oak at this time of year is that  damage to the tree might make it vulnerable to Oak Wilt disease, because the insect that spreads this disease is active in warm weather. You need a tree expert with the right equipment and knowledge about avoiding damage, not advice from us on how to use a shovel, which is about how far our information on transplanting goes. And, of course, transplanting anything when it is as hot as it is now in Texas is going to make transplant shock a good possibility. We looked at a number of websites on transplanting trees and particularly on live oaks. Almost uniformly, the first instruction was to transplant the tree during its dormant period, which in Texas would be about November to February. The second instruction was to start preparing the tree to be transplanted about 6 months in advance, with root-pruning. Since you don't have time for either of these suggestions, getting help from an expert is the next step.

We went to our Suppliers site, put your town and state in the Enter Search Location and got a list of nurseries, seed companies and landscaping professionals in your general area. You might begin with contacting the landscaping professionals. If they cannot help you, they may be able to give you some referrals to someone who can. Then we Googled "tree specialists Austin TX" and got this list of arborists in the area. We have no way of recommending a specific company, you will need to call around, talk to them, try to get some references. Clicking on each company's name will give you a website with contact information for that specific firm. We have a feeling that either they are going to try to discourage you from doing anything this time of year, or that you will find the costs higher than you expected.

Unfortunately, this is another example of failing to plan ahead on landscaping. If the house is being built close to the trees in question, they may have already suffered damage from the construction activity and compressed earth caused by parking trucks beneath their branches or piling supplies on their roots.

 

More Trees Questions

Need a tree to replace a large oak tree that may be dying in Bedias TX.
April 28, 2011 - I live in Bedias, TX in Grimes County. One of the largest oak trees on my property looks like it's dying. It's simply not leafing out well. I literally can't afford for this to happen since I depen...
view the full question and answer

Oak leaf fall causing ivy damage
August 28, 2007 - I read the A/Q in the Austin American-Statesman Saturday, August 25, regarding the leaves falling now from the live oaks. I am experiencing the same thing, but it is the leaves of my post oaks that a...
view the full question and answer

Non-native crape myrtles in Noblesville IN
August 01, 2012 - Can Crepe Myrtle trees be grown in Noblesville IN 46060? I believe we are zone five.
view the full question and answer

Does Helasia diptera absorb toxic substances from Dover Plains NY
March 09, 2012 - Dear Mr. Plants, Halesia carolina is described as absorbing toxic substances: herbicides, pesticides and pollutants from water, air and soil. Does Halesia diptera do the same? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Need a tree that grows only 15 feet tall in Hopewell, VA.
May 26, 2010 - We would like to landscape an area of our yard with a tree that grows no higher than 15 feet. This location receives full sun most of the day and we would prefer a drought tolerant species or one tha...
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