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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Friday - January 02, 2009

From: Angleton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Transplants, Trees
Title: When and how to transplant a Texas persimmon
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

When and how should I transplant a 12' Texas persimmon? How much root ball do I need to get?

ANSWER:

A mature Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon)  ranges in size from 12 to 36' tall, which means you already have a pretty mature plant. The Texas persimmon is evergreen in USDA Hardiness Zones above Zone 8, so in Angleton, which is Zone 9, the tree should still have foliage on it. Nevertheless, at this time of year, it is at least somewhat dormant, so right now would be a good time to transplant it.

First, prepare the hole you are going to transplant into. Do not dig up the tree until you have completed the preparation of the hole; you don't want the roots to dry out. The persimmon likes full sun, but can tolerate a little light shade. It is drought resistant, but needs very good drainage in the soil. We recommend choosing a good spot and digging a hole bigger than you think you will need.  Mix some compost or other organic material with the native dirt. This will help to make nutrients available to the roots and keep them from standing in water, as the amended dirt will have better drainage. 

The persimmon is rhizomatous, which means it has horizontal roots from which shoots grow up and roots grow down. Although our Native Plant Database names seeds as the propagation method, these rhizomes or roots also spread the tree, sometimes forming thickets. This About.com:Landscape article on Transplanting Trees and Shrubs gives good instructions for deciding on rootball size, cutting through roots that are beyond what you can manage, and transportation to the prepared hole. Because of its semi-dormancy and the rhizomes that make up its root system, it should be able to withstand this without too much damage. Once you have returned the amended soil to the hole and your tree is either supporting itself or staked upright, stick a hose in the soil and let water drip in slowly until water stands on the surface. If there is regular rainfall, you shouldn't have to repeat this more than once a week or so. 

If the tree begins to show signs of stress, like wilting or loss of leaves, trim off about 1/4 to 1/3 of the foliage to compensate for the root loss below the ground. Make sure it is getting plenty of moisture. It can take up to 12 months for a tree to fully recover from transplanting, so be patient.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Fast-growing evergreens for privacy in Center, TX
March 30, 2010 - I live in East Texas and am looking for a fast growing evergreen for a privacy screen around my backyard. The area gets partial sun and the soil has a lot of clay in it.
view the full question and answer

Caring for Texas Buckeye in Buda TX
February 07, 2011 - I have a Texas Buckeye that is planted in a moderate amount of shade. It is growing very slowly, and only holds on to it's leaves from late March to August. It has been in the ground for about 4-5 ye...
view the full question and answer

Difficulty with Clay Soil from Palm Bay, FL
August 22, 2012 - I had a very nice little native shady area behind my house for over 40 years, but now it has been cleared except for a 100 foot tall live oak in the center of this raised mound (50' x 80'). I've be...
view the full question and answer

Water eroding corner in Austin
October 25, 2011 - I live close to the Wildflower Center. My yard slopes - as do my neighbors' yards to one corner in my yard. The result is constant moisture in one corner. The rest of the yard is caliche, rocks (m...
view the full question and answer

Need evergreen hedge and groundcover for shade in Carmel, Indiana
September 27, 2010 - Our property is bounded by a fencerow that is wooded and mostly shaded by mulberry and hackberry trees during the growing months. We'd like to create a 5'+ tall evergreen barrier on the property li...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center