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

Thursday - June 18, 2009

From: Calgary, AB
Region: Canada
Topic: Planting, Transplants
Title: Transplanted crabapple tree problems in Alberta
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

We transplanted a crabapple tree a couple of weeks ago. There was an abundance of clay in the soil where it was re-planted and even with all the watering, it isn't doing well. Any suggestions on how to save it? Thanks.

ANSWER:

It is very difficult to diagnose plant difficulties without more information.  What crabapple variety is it?  What size? How long was it in it's previous location?  What was the location like (sunlight,drainage)? What are the symptoms of "not doing well"?  Flagging leaves and tender new growth?  Leaf drop? Dried leaves that didn't drop?

That being said, crabapples are very tough trees that will thrive in lots of sun and dry conditions.  So if I had to stick my scrawny green neck out I might guess that in it's new location (ie clay soil) it might be suffering from too much water.  More plants die of too much than not enough and unforunately, both conditions share the same most obvious symptom, droopy leaves. If you destroyed a significant amount of the rootsystem while transplanting and it can no longer support the top of the tree you can prune a maximum of a third of the top, keeping in mind that the tree needs the leaves to produce food to regenerate the root system.  So it's a bit of a balancing act!

If there is a Master Gardener assosication in your area, you might want to call them or ask at the garden centre where you purchased the tree.

 

More Planting Questions

Transplanting a redbud in Virginia Beach VA
April 21, 2010 - I have a 5-6 ft. Redbud Tree and like to dig up and move to different spot in my backyard. How/what is the proper way to do it without killing the tree?
view the full question and answer

Steep slope from Charlotte NC
May 03, 2012 - I live near Charlotte, NC and I have a very steep sloped area from the edge of our front yard down to the road. It's a huge eyesore mainly because it is red clay dirt and has nothing growing on it. W...
view the full question and answer

Native Desert Willow and bunchgrass for Lubbock TX
July 29, 2013 - We live in Lubbock and have decided to try to make our front yard as native as possible. It has been a very difficult process finding native species locally (even the local Aggie nursery sells a lot ...
view the full question and answer

Selecting a tree for a backyard in San Antonio, TX
May 11, 2013 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently moved into a home in West San Antonio right outside Loop 1604..my treeless backyard is fairly small at about 55 ft long and 15 ft wide. I am torn because I can't ...
view the full question and answer

Taproot tree to replace willows by pool
June 23, 2008 - Installing Pool with bomanite decking all around it. We're in process of cutting down 18 year old Weeping Willow due to root invasiveness and small messy leaves. Can you recommend a good shade tree w...
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