En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Transplanting Sideroxylon lanuginosum in Austin

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 - August 12, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Transplanting Sideroxylon lanuginosum in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a tall (30-40 ft) Sideroxylon lanuginosum in my backyard. Last fall hundreds of saplings popped up in my yard following runners from the tall tree. I would like to keep a few of these saplings to form a wildlife thicket in the back corner of my yard. Can sections of the runners with multiple saplings be transplanted to desired locations?

ANSWER:

There seem to be two or three subspecies of this tree, Sideroxylon lanuginosum (gum bully), native to North America, but this one is the only one native to Texas, and is found in the Austin area. We looked and looked, trying to find propagation techniques and all sources agreed that it is propagated by seed.

If we correctly understand your question, you want to cut out a strip of root from which adventitious shoots or suckers have emerged and transplant to another part of your garden. Frankly, although we could not substantiate it one way or another, we don't think this would work. The root of the parent tree is also the root of those suckers. If you separate that root from the tree, the sprouts lose their source of nutrition and have no rootlets to acquire moisture from the soil. This tree has sharp thorns and not a great deal of landscape value, except as a barrier plant. If you do not keep the shoots trimmed down, the parent tree will form a thicket all by itself, but moving the thicket strikes us as pretty impractical. 

Since you have the raw material, there is no reason why you couldn't experiment, digging down to look for a rooted shoot and attempt to transplant it. We wouldn't recommend doing so right now, in our hottest and driest year in decades. Transplanting of woody plants by any means is best done in late Fall in our climate. Root suckers often don't have enough of a root system to support themselves. You can try to encourage development of an independent root system by cutting partway through the connection with the mother tree some weeks prior to transplanting.


Sideroxylon lanuginosum

Sideroxylon lanuginosum

Sideroxylon lanuginosum

Sideroxylon lanuginosum

 

 

More Transplants Questions

Plant identification and advice about moving it
March 10, 2010 - I have a plant (a thick stalk about 4 foot tall with yellow flowers on it) that blooms in the morning and the flowers fall off at night. I have searched for info on this plant and have come up short. ...
view the full question and answer

Dying branches on Texas Mountain Laurel from Kempner TX
September 14, 2012 - The branches on my Texas Mountain Laurel are very dry and brittle. The leaves are also starting to die. The tree has been in my yard for six years and prior to that it sat wrapped in burlap for ov...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for sandy soil and not much water
April 14, 2008 - I am planning a new garden at home and would like to grow native plants that can handle sandy soil and don't need much water. I do not water my gardens.I would prefer plants that can have more than o...
view the full question and answer

Cedar sage not blooming in pots in Austin
September 14, 2012 - I have cedar sage (salvia roemeriana) in containers on a dappled-shade apartment patio in Austin, TX. This is their first season here, transplanted in May (it's now September). All the plants have be...
view the full question and answer

Transplant time for small smoke tree from Battle Ground WA
June 01, 2014 - When do I transplant a smoke tree that is still young, about a foot high? It is too close to a fence, which I fear will be a problem as it gets big. I live in Battle Ground, WA which is zone 6.
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