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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - June 24, 2009

From: State College, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Trees
Title: My newly planted Redbuds are not doing well.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I ordered and received 2 Red Bud trees from one of the popular ordering houses. They explained that they were dormant and not dead, and gave us instructions on how to plant them, which we followed. They have been in the ground for about 3 weeks or so now, and they still look like when we put them in. How long should it be before I will know that they have taken?

ANSWER:

Redbuds Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud) is a popular  ornamental because of its brilliant early spring flowers, displayed en masse on the bare branches before the plant has leafed out. The species occurs from the Atlantic coast to central Texas.

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks that your Redbuds, and perhaps you, are suffering transplant shock . When a plant is replanted, the first order of business is for it to get the roots established in order to get water and minerals to the upper portion of the plant. Until this is done, the rest of the plant doesn't look so good. To check for viability, you can give your plants the "thumbnail test"; scratch a small portion of the bark away with your thumbnail to see if there is green tissue underneath. Finding green tissue is a good sign.  Start near the tip of a twig; if you don't find live tissue, work your way down the branch until you do.  If you find no green tissue anywhere on the tree - including beneath the trunk's bark, then it's dead.

This article from Northscaping.com offers very good information about transplant shock and how to deal with it. One of its recommendations is patience; your plants have been in the ground for only three weeks.

 


Cercis canadensis

 

 

 

More Planting Questions

Non-blooming rhododendron in Connecticut
June 02, 2008 - A two or three yr old rhododendron has not blossomed - ever! All other plants in landscape doing well, but not this one. Help
view the full question and answer

Planting bluebonnets on UT Campus in Austin
January 07, 2012 - Hello! I am with a student organization on the University of Texas campus. Walking around campus, I have noticed the lack of the state flower of Texas, the bluebonnet. Our organization is hoping ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for under a black walnut from Lansing MI
October 04, 2012 - What native plants can you recommend that will grow in Michigan under a mature black walnut tree?
view the full question and answer

Need native grasses to re-introduce on land in Live Oak County, Texas.
July 21, 2009 - How do I find out what type of grass is native and how to reintroduce it (once we get some rain)? The area is southern Live Oak County approx 10 miles north of Orange Grove TX, about 2 miles from Lak...
view the full question and answer

Late planting plum tree from Lago Vista, TX
May 01, 2014 - I have two plum trees in plastic containers that I purchased in March. For a lot of reasons, we didn't get them planted. I have kept them alive by watering consistently, but I am now wondering what...
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