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

Native plants for southwest side of house in Birmingham, AL
April 18, 2009 - I would like to know what I can plant on the southwest side of my house where there is a brick foundation and is really hot in the summer. I've tried irises and day lilies-not good. Suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Replacing non-native St. Augustine with native grasses in Rockport TX
February 18, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a few questions for you. I live in Rockport and am in the process of revamping my yard to native species. I currently have San Augustine, weed infested grass. I want to scrap...
view the full question and answer

Student project on non-native bush snap beans
October 30, 2006 - I am doing a science project for school that involves bush snap beans. For my research I am required to have at least one interview with a professional on plants. I was hoping that you would be able ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Asclepias curassavica
March 09, 2005 - I have some plants given to me by a neighbor, here in Florida. She says they are called Butterfly Reel or by another name Asclepias Curassavica. I have been unable to locate any info. on this plant. ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Chamaecyparis pisiflora turning brown in Fuqua-Varina NC
December 10, 2012 - I have a "Soft Serve False Cypress" Chamaecyparis pisifera'Dow Whiting PPAF, that has only been in the ground for 6-7 months. I just noticed that the branches and leaves are starting to die, turni...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center