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
1 rating

Monday - July 21, 2008

From: Spicewood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Transplants
Title: Transplanting non-native invasive chinaberry trees
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I know most folk think Chinaberry trees are only for digging up, but I say that here in the Hill Country during a drought, they are the greenest and purtiest tree around. I have some tall fifteen footers that I'd like to transplant to give some much needed shade. Does anyone have a suggestion.

ANSWER:

We're afraid we agree with others that Chinaberry trees are good things not to have, but you're entitled to grow what you please on your own property. Unfortunately, it is an invasive tree that can easily move from your property to other places, where it may not be as welcome. Melia azedarach is a deciduous tree in the mahogany family native to India, southern China and Australia. The fruits are poisonous to humans, although some birds are able to eat the fruit and spread the seeds in their droppings. See this Plant Conservation Alliance website Least Wanted - Chinaberry.

Now, as to your question on transplanting the trees, if you really want to do that. This article from About.com on How to Transplant pretty well covers all the bases. In particular, you need to know that now is NOT the right time to transplant, need for shade or not. Transplanting a tree is a great enough shock as it is, without subjecting it also to being moved during a very hot drouth. If you are planning to transplant in the late Winter, probably the best time in West Texas, note the instructions in the referenced article on root pruning to prepare the tree for being moved. Most recommendations we've seen for root pruning say to do it after the leaves drop in the Fall.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Pruning of crepe myrtles
January 27, 2008 - I have three crepe myrtle trees in my yard. When do I trim back the branches? What if I waited too long to trim them back? Can I still do it? How far do I trim them back? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Plants for full-sun landscape
November 20, 2007 - I live in a very rocky area just outside of Fort Worth, TX. It's taken me all spring, summer & now I'm going into the fall, to landscape just 30 feet in front of my house. The front of the house get...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Japanese privet from Glendale AZ
December 26, 2012 - We have Japanese privet shrub and they seem to be suffering from a disease, need help.
view the full question and answer

Texas native plants in an indoor space in Dallas
July 31, 2009 - Is there a native Texas plant that would be suited for an indoor application, such as large planters in a lobby space?
view the full question and answer

Growing pecan and fruit trees near Canyon Lake, Texas
July 07, 2014 - I just bought a property on the north side of Canyon Lake in the Hill Country of Texas. Most of the trees around are cedar, and a few live oak. I know I have seen beautiful Pecan trees as well as seve...
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