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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - July 27, 2008

From: Italy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Propagation, Transplants, Watering
Title: Transplanting a Texas redbud sapling
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I've just discovered a Texas red bud sapling (baby tree)that decided to grow next to our fire pit. Although there's no reason for us to sit around the campfire in 100 degree weather, I would like to move the little red bud before a weed eater comes along. Could you tell me how to properly uproot, transplant, and care for the little guy? (Note: I'm experimenting with all the tips you gave me for trying to propagate bluebells. We've got white ones growing in a flower pot, going to seed.!)

ANSWER:

My, you are one of our frequent customers. We are either going to have to give you a discount or put you on our Christmas card list. And congratulations on your propagation experiments with the bluebells, sounds like you are on the right track!

Now, as to transplanting Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud). Follow this link to get the general Texas information on the plant, and then see this USDA Forest Service article on the redbud for more technical information. The young trees are fairly easily transplanted, but PLEASE not in the summer. If you are really concerned that something is going to get the redbud before you can move it to safety, put some mesh screening around it, or maybe a big KEEP OUT! sign. Moving it in November will give it a much greater chance at success. Since you have time, select the spot for the new tree, and amend the soil with compost or other humus. When you transplant the tree, be sure to keep it deep-watered until it seems established, and put a nice shredded bark mulch around its base. This will both shelter the roots from heat and cold and will continue to decompose, increasing the good texture of the soil.


Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

 

 

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