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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - July 02, 2009

From: Heath, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Watering, Trees
Title: How to care for newly transplanted Live Oak.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I planted 3 B & B, 6" caliper live oaks in February and they lost most of their leaves during the normal time but when the new leaves grew back the amount of leaves were quite a bit less. I have three questions: Is that normal for a newly planted dug tree? I am now having quite a few leaves turn yellow, what is the possible cause? The tree farm is recommending me to water these trees 2 times a week with either 50 gallons in a tree gator or a water hose for 70 minutes at a 1/2 inch rate 2 times a week, is that too much water?

ANSWER:

A six-inch caliper tree is a big one to transplant and difficult to do successfully.

It is fortunate that your tree is a Live Oak since it did change it's leaves just after you transplanted it.  Here's why.  The tree produced only as many leaves as its roots could support with water and nutrients.  As spring wore on into summer and the weather has become hotter and drier, your tree is now shedding some of those leaves in order to protect the whole tree.  So yes, it is normal for your tree to behave the way it has.

The watering recommendation from the tree farm sounds reasonable through the summer.  When the weather cools, or when rain occurs, you'll want to cut back on watering.  However, winter is very hard on trees, too, so don't stop watering completely then.  Just don't give it as much as you are now.

 

More Planting Questions

native plants for landscaping in Honolulu
January 08, 2012 - Hi, wildflower.org has been a great help for me in learning about different plants, their Latin names and characteristics. I was looking for a list of plants (trees, shrubs, ground covers, perennials...
view the full question and answer

Annual flowers for fall planting in San Antonio
June 22, 2010 - What are some recommended annual flowers for fall planting in a small garden in San Antonio? Also any help on planting and cultivating would be appreciated.
view the full question and answer

Live oak wobbling in the ground from Austin
May 02, 2012 - I have a live oak that was not planted firmly in the ground by the subdivision builder's landscapers. The entire tree is wobbly to the touch and it has come close to dying as result of windy condit...
view the full question and answer

When is the best time to transplant Esperanza bushe in Buda, TX?
September 04, 2013 - When is the best time to transplant an Esperanza bush? I want to move it because it is overwhelming my front yard. Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Frost damage to native plants in Austin
December 19, 2011 - Hello, We bought a number of native plants at this fall's WFC sale and planted them. The recent frost seems to have defoliated our pitcher sage, beautyberry, butterflyweed, and flame acanthus plan...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center