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 Transplants Questions

Blossom fall after rain on Polystachys lutea, Shrimp Lollipop
July 17, 2008 - I live in San Antonio and had previously bought shrimp lollipop plants and after the rain we had recently all the blooms fell off. So my question is did it die or should I just leave it alone?
view the full question and answer

Possumhaw losing leaves in Liberty Hill, TX.
July 11, 2011 - I have two female possumhaw trees and one of them is losing its leaves. I planted both of them in February and they were doing very well, getting green and full. What's happening?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting aspens and Colorado blue spruce trees
August 18, 2009 - Please help me with info on transplanting aspen and blue spruce trees in Colorado. I live at 8600ft and have tons of deer. thx
view the full question and answer

Wrapping a newly planted non-native Japanese maple from Fraser MI
October 01, 2013 - Does a newly planted Japanese maple need to be wrapped in burlap for the cold and snowy winter of Macomb County, Michigan?
view the full question and answer

Viability of Texas Mountain Laurel in Florida
March 12, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants While visiting Pinnacle Peak in Scottsdale we saw a beautiful Texas Mountain Laurel tree. What are the chances of this surviving in the Ft. Myers, Florida area. Either in t...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center