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 Trees Questions

Thornless honeylocust trees for Taylor TX
September 21, 2009 - I live in Taylor, Williamson County, in central Texas and I am interested in selecting trees for my backyard. I can't really explain (it may be my Midwestern roots), but I would like to plant three t...
view the full question and answer

Will arctostaphylos grow in Austin, from Murrieta CA
April 23, 2013 - I currently live in Murrieta, CA at 2,000 ft. We planted 800 native plants on our slopes so they were extremely drought tolerant. One of my favorites is the Arctostaphylos family that will take the fr...
view the full question and answer

Living fence of native plants in Central Texas
December 14, 2008 - I would like to plant a living fence around my property in central Texas. What trees/plants will survive the Texas weather best without taking years to provide visual shield?
view the full question and answer

Privacy hedge for Dallas area
February 21, 2010 - We live in the Park Cities area of Dallas, and our neighbors are right on top of us. Our lot is small, but I'm looking for a privacy hedge or small tree to plant along the side of the fence. It needs...
view the full question and answer

White ash trees with bunched up leaves from Nevada TX
June 09, 2012 - I have very young white ash trees (3' tall planted this winter) The leaves are crippled not opening up bunched up together and have a white powder. Is this aphids mites or what. Only on one tree. Th...
view the full question and answer

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