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
2 ratings

Thursday - August 27, 2009

From: El Paso, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Trees
Title: Transplanting Desert willows in El Paso, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have some volunteer Desert Willows growing on an empty lot nearby. Can we dig them up and transplant them in the yard? If so, how? They are about 3-4 feet tall

ANSWER:

Okay, the first thing you do before you transplant anything from a vacant lot is find out who that vacant lot belongs to and get their permission to take the trees. In most states, going onto property not belonging to you without the owner's permission is trespass and taking something from there is criminal trespass. If it belongs to the Tax Office or a developer who will just bulldoze it when the lot is sold, it probably won't matter. If it belongs to someone who is planning to build on that lot, and intends those trees to be in his landscaping, what do you think will occur to him when he notes three holes in his lot and three new trees on yours? The next thing you do is wait for much cooler weather, like November or even February, to do any transplanting at all. It is never a good idea to transplant, especially woody plants, in heat and drought, which Texas is certainly having this year. When it's cooler and the plant is in semi-dormancy you have the best chance of a successful transplant. 

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow) is native to West Texas, including El Paso County and should do well there. For more information on this plant, follow the plant link to our webpage on the plant and read Desert Willow from The Living Desert. None of our research indicated that there were any special problems to transplanting this tree. You can probably find all the information you need in this University of Georgia Cooperative Extension website Transplanting Woody Plants.


Chilopsis linearis

Chilopsis linearis

Chilopsis linearis

Chilopsis linearis

 

 


 

More Transplants Questions

Mexicana Redbud failing to bloom in Austin
April 12, 2010 - I have a Mexican Redbud that I bought last fall. It is now April (I'm in Austin), and the leaves have emerged, but the tree did not flower. So . . . what should I do to get it to flower? (The tree i...
view the full question and answer

Optimal time to separate and transplant black-eyed Susan
May 26, 2007 - When is the optimal time to separate or transplant black eyed Susan. I have some in a planter on my patio, but it has multiplied and become too crowded for the pot; it needs water daily.
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Turks Cap, when and how
September 10, 2007 - Mr. Smarty Pants - We have an enormous healthy Turk's Cap - not the lily, but the one with red flowers(Malvaviscus arboreus v. drummondii) It has also produced a new plant nearby. Please tell us how...
view the full question and answer

transplanting Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris)
October 25, 2011 - Behind our house is a huge grotto with a spring flowing through it that runs into a creek. Because of the constant flow of water, there are many of the Maidenhair Ferns (Adiantum capillus-veneris). I ...
view the full question and answer

Field of Dreams
June 07, 2009 - I planted a field of sunflowers in April. I transplanted some of the crowded plants to different rows in mid-May - no problems. I have tried to transplant some of the plants this first week of June ...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center