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
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

Frost damage to Mexican palm and non-native Sago palm in Austin
February 01, 2010 - I have frost damage to the leaves on my mexican palm tree which is about 12 feet high. Can I cut back all of the damaged leaves and what month? Also, Sago palms have some frost damage on the upper...
view the full question and answer

What causes peach fruit to ooze sap?
July 27, 2009 - I have a peach tree at our new house. The peaches are small and yellow but appeared healthy. Now it looks like they are oozing or weeping sap out of several places on each one. I dont know if its a di...
view the full question and answer

Problem with Chinese Pistache tree
September 01, 2014 - We have a gorgeous Chinese Pistache in our yard, about 25 feet tall. We bought it for its gorgeous fall color. The problem is that it has never turned color for us. All the other pistaches in the neig...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native althea in Georgetown, TX
June 20, 2009 - My white althea's leaves have a white edge, last year the bloom did not open. Is it sick?
view the full question and answer

Survival of non-native Cape Plumbago in Delaware
October 18, 2008 - I have a cape plumbago shrub growing in a large pot outdoors - but we are in Delaware - where it won't apparently survive the winter. How can I keep my plumbago safe over the winter?
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