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
2 ratings

Thursday - April 02, 2009

From: Annapolis, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Transplants
Title: Rotating a non-native cypress in its hole in Annapolis, MD
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a follow up question to a Cypress transplant question from December 28, 2008. We trimmed our 5 1/2 foot Dwarf Hinoki Cypress back too far, and now the side facing the street has some bare spots that do not look good. Is it safe to dig up the tree and rotate it so that the bare spot is facing the wall, or will I hurt the tree? Please advise.

ANSWER:

Sorry, you really can't treat a living tree like a Christmas tree that you put in a corner so the bare spots don't show. Quoting this Previous answer you referred to: "We can tell you that members of the Cupressaceae family don't take well to transplanting. They have long taproots which, if damaged, can weaken or kill the tree." Even if you are just "rotating" the tree in its original hole, you can hardly avoid damaging that long taproot, and the tree will almost certainly go into transplant shock and probably die. 

As we pointed out in our previous answer, this is not a species native to North America, but to Japan, and therefore out of our range of expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. However, we can tell you that members of the Cupressaceae (cypress) family, native or not, are slow-growing. If you continue to give your tree good care, and prune less vigorously, it will fill in those bare spots and regain its nice shape. Patience is the prescription. 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Secretions of fluid from crepe myrtles
June 09, 2008 - On my crepe myrtle tree I have dozens of 1/2-inch-long narrow bugs that seem to secrete tiny drops of fluid. They appear on the branches of the tree. Are these harmful to the tree? Do I need to do ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive creeping fig in Webster TX
May 26, 2013 - We've recently moved into a new home in the southeast Houston area. The back of our property has a long concrete wall (gets quite a bit of sun), which we thought we could cover with a spreading vine....
view the full question and answer

Japanese maple in New York
August 15, 2008 - I have a few questions: Do you know what zone Brooklyn, NY. is in? If I plant a Japanese Maple in my backyard, do you think it can tolerate almost full shade (1-2 hours of sun per day)? Also, is it...
view the full question and answer

Native plants more beneficial for Maryland and Chesapeake Bay?
April 07, 2010 - Why are native plant species more beneficial than non native plant species for the state of Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay?
view the full question and answer

Non-native Chinese pistache in Eagle Pass, TX
June 14, 2009 - Hi Mr Smarty Plants!! I just bought a young chinese pistache tree, is no bigger than 7 feet. I've never had one of these trees before, I'm about to plant it and I would also like to fertilize it...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center