Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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 Watering Questions

Mites in soil of house plants
June 25, 2008 - Hi there! I recently noticed tiny silver mites in the soil of my plants that I only notice after watering. These plants are indoors in on a window ledge (a dwarf palm, aloe plant and Hawaiian Scheffle...
view the full question and answer

Why are the leaves on my Laurel hedge turning brown in Everett, WA?
February 22, 2010 - Our laurel hedge seems to have brown leaves on the top of the bush. We haven't had a freezing winter so we are trying to figure out why some of the leaves are brown.
view the full question and answer

Baby mountain laurels are ready to move, in Lockhart Texas
October 19, 2011 - I want to harvest the baby mountain laurel plants which are growing under a large bush. What height would be best for the young plants survival? Please recommend a soil mixture for the pots.
view the full question and answer

Poor drainage in wildflower bed
November 10, 2004 - I have a flower bed that has given me difficulty because it has poor drainage but typically receives sun for most of the day. Salvia gregii was the only survivors for the initial landscaping attempt. ...
view the full question and answer

Desert willows not doing well in Navarro County, TX
May 16, 2009 - Planted 3 new desert willows , 3-4 ft.in February. Live in East Navarro County and soil is clay with slight slope to Richland Chambers lake area. Had a wet spring. These plantings appear not doing we...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.