Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Watering oaks during drought in Austin
July 29, 2009 - Should we be watering our live oaks and Spanish oaks during this drought? How often and how much?
view the full question and answer

Lopidea on Texas Mountain Laurel from Austin
April 16, 2012 - How do I get rid of the Lopidea ALL OVER my Texas Laurels and boring into the seed pods?
view the full question and answer

Pacific dogwood not fruiting
September 30, 2009 - We have a beautiful Pacific Dogwood in front of our balcony. In some years it has fruit (berries) but has not for the past two years. When it does, it becomes a magnet for Northern Flickers. Is the pr...
view the full question and answer

What about planting a Colorado Blue Spruce in Rapid City, SD?
May 13, 2009 - What would be the best tree to plant in my small front yard that would be low maintenance? I live in Rapid City, SD, and we are landscaping our front yard. We were thinking of Colorado Blue Spruce b...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a school garden in College Station TX
July 20, 2011 - I need to plant some things in my school garden. Green plants and plants with some color. Hardly ever rains here. Please give suggestions.
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.