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 Propagation Questions

Source of Berlandiera pumila seeds from Coral Gables FL
June 07, 2012 - Where can I buy plants or seeds of Berlandiera pumila?
view the full question and answer

Will my Lisianthus survive the winter in Minnesota for another growing season?
March 09, 2009 - Do you know if Lisianthus plants planted one year, will come back the next year? We bought 6 gorgeous healthy plants last summer from a MN grower. We enjoyed them all last Summer and are wondering if ...
view the full question and answer

Planting iris rhizomes in Wisconsin
October 10, 2008 - I live in central WI and was given some iris bulbs (think they are called Rhizomes) and have no idea how to go about planting them. I am very new to planting so step by step instructions with good de...
view the full question and answer

Looking for an apple tree to plant in Austin, TX.
December 08, 2010 - I want to plant an apple tree in my yard that bears fruit and will provide habitat and shade. Are any varieties that will do well in the South Austin area? And do I have to plant two trees to get fru...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting trumpet creeper in Prairie City, IA
August 22, 2011 - I have a Trumpet Creeper that I would like to transplant. How do you do that?
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