Explore Plants

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
    
 

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 Transplants Questions

Transplant shock in Texas Star hibiscus
July 31, 2008 - Why is my Texas star plant wilting and now is starting to turn yellow? I just bought it from a nursery and put it in a new pot.
view the full question and answer

Mexicana Redbud failing to bloom in Austin
April 12, 2010 - I have a Mexican Redbud that I bought last fall. It is now April (I'm in Austin), and the leaves have emerged, but the tree did not flower. So . . . what should I do to get it to flower? (The tree i...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Indian Paintbrush in Corona CA
November 05, 2013 - I have a very mature Indian Paintbrush Plant that was becoming too large for the area I had originally planted it in, so I transplanted it to an area much more suited for its size. I reviewed the que...
view the full question and answer

How to grow milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) for monarch butterflies
March 31, 2010 - I tried and tried and tried to grow Asclepias viridis, A. asperula and even A. oenotheroides from seeds and even tubers for fourteen years! Do you have advice for growing these and other milkweed plan...
view the full question and answer

Height of tree to block sun on deck in Arlington MA
May 12, 2009 - I am trying to figure out how tall a tree I should buy in order to make sure to block out the sun on my deck
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.