En EspaŅol

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
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

Friday - November 20, 2009

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Will Cedar Elm seedlings resprout from the root?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have a number of cedar elm saplings coming up in a garden bed which I am planning on replanting. It is very difficult to remove the entire taproot below about 1.5 feet as I encounter rocks and heavy clay. What are the chances that these will resprout and come up through my new plants if I don't remove the entire root? Thanks, Ryan

ANSWER:

If the elm plants are seedlings, there is little chance of one resprouting as long as you cut the roots well below the soil surface.  Just start your spade a couple inches from the base of the seedling and cut the root a few inches from below the soil surface.

However, if the sprouts are from the root of an existing tree then that is another kettle of elms altogether.  Texas Cedar Elms and some other species (most notably, Escarpment Live Oaks) like to form clonal colonies (called motts or mottes in Texas) via root sprouts. Removing these root sprouts is often a temporary fix since the parent tree will usually just produce more sprouts in the following years.  Some individual trees seem to be more prone to producing root sprouts than others.

 

More Trees Questions

Wildflowers that grow in woodlands
June 22, 2011 - Please tell me the names of wildflowers that grow under your oak trees in Texas. I am only familiar with those open meadow plants, not those that live under the deciduous trees. Thank you for your t...
view the full question and answer

Weird growth on oaks in Middleburg FL
February 05, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants; I have this plant/fungus that grows on my trees here in northeast Florida & nobody has been able to identify it for me. It looks like a clump of pine needles growing on the ba...
view the full question and answer

Small native flowering tree for Virginia
September 21, 2009 - Could you recommend a small flowering tree (8-10' mature size) to plant in front garden next to the house. Full sun. Something that doesn't have invasive roots that would damage the house. Thanks...
view the full question and answer

Pecan tree transplant in Elgin, TX
August 26, 2008 - Hello, Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about how to encourage a very young pecan sapling to grow, and whether I should use mulch to do so. I live in Elgin (Bastrop County) and the soil is extr...
view the full question and answer

Blocking dust from a road in Sturgis MS
September 20, 2012 - Please let me know what Trees/shrubs will help block dust from dirt road.
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