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
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

Buds disappearing from magnolia in New Jersey
February 04, 2012 - I live in New Jersey.I planted my 5.gal Vulcan magnolia in December. It came with 4 big buds and 3 small buds.I planted in good location where it gets lots of sun. The tree is well settled and looked ...
view the full question and answer

Growing a Swamp Oak from Seed
July 02, 2014 - I have a swamp oak that I started from an acorn. Someone at a nursery stated that after 4 years I should cut it off at ground level and then allow one of the suckers to grow while keep removing the ot...
view the full question and answer

Optimum planting time for perennials and trees
November 02, 2007 - Our group is running out of fall workdays. Is it OK to plant native perennials and small trees in Central Texas during the winter months? Or should we wait now until the spring?
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

Are blue spruce (Picea pungens) poisonous?
May 30, 2009 - Are blue spruce trees poisonous at all? Thank you.
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