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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


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


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




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