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
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

Sunday - October 26, 2008

From: Eden, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Transplanting native flame leaf sumac in Eden, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have tried without success to transplant a flame leaf sumac from the ranch to the house. What are we doing wrong?

ANSWER:

It's difficult to tell you what, if anything, you have been doing wrong, because we don't what you have been doing to transplant Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac) from its natural setting to an urban property. However, we did find this propagation information on the webpage linked above on Flame-leaf Sumac:

"Several species of Rhus are commercially available as propagated stock, which is both ecologically more desirable and usually more successfully established than plants dug from the wild. The best time for planting most shrubs and trees is during the dormant period of fall and winter. Even during the winter, however, the root ball needs moisture, so plan some winter watering if soaking rains fail to come regularly. You can use a spade to cut outer shoots from a spreading cluster in the wild. This allows the plant to remain in its natural setting while providing transplantable shoots that already have a developed root system. Simply cut straight down between the outside “sucker” shoots and the other plant and then cut around the new shoots to remove them from the soil. Keep the roots wrapped in damp newspaper and out of the sun. Replant the same day, if possible.

Even during the winter, the root ball needs moisture, so plan some winter watering if soaking rains fail to come regularly. As with any shrub or tree, native or introduced, the first year requires regular deep watering for successful root establishment. Once established, sumacs do not require fertilizing or watering beyond average rainfall."

The sumac does put up suckers that will eventually add to the plant and form a thicket. If you have been attempting to transplant one of these suckers without finding one that has roots already developed on it, that may be the problem you are encountering. Another problem may have been transplant shock. Following the instructions to transplant when the plant is semi-dormant, late Fall or early Winter, getting it quickly back into dirt, and watering slowly and consistently can help prevent transplant shock. 


Rhus lanceolata

Rhus lanceolata

Rhus lanceolata

Rhus lanceolata

 

 

 

More Planting Questions

Evergreen tree for planter in Sherman Oaks CA
November 11, 2010 - We have a large cinder block planter, 6ftx6ftx6ft,in the back of our building and would love to find a good evergreen accent tree (but not pine like). Planter is near a building so preferable it shoul...
view the full question and answer

Propagation information from Queens NY
October 04, 2012 - Hello. I would appreciate information on when to plant the following plants. I found on the USDA website that all these plants could withstand the cold. ALthough they can withstand harsh weather, ...
view the full question and answer

Digging wild buttercup from roadside in Mechanicsville MD
May 28, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, is it illegal to dig out wild buttercup in Maryland? I see them along the dirt road or just in the ditch. Since buttercup considered weed, I'm wondering what the law say about this...
view the full question and answer

Moving a large red horse chestnut tree in Jackson MI
April 20, 2012 - I have a red horse chestnut that is maybe 12 inches around, can I move it after the sap goes down about 10 miles to our new place? Sadly, I cannot afford to hire a tree truck. What are its chances?
view the full question and answer

Plants for 100 gal. pot by pool from Ft. Worth TX
June 23, 2012 - What North Texas evergreen — or combination of evergreen plants, bushes or trees — could thrive in a huge, 100-gallon clay pot (immovable!) that is situated in full sun year round in an exposed area n...
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