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

Is Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay) a major nectar source for honeybees?
January 31, 2015 - Is the Sweetbay Magnolia a major nectar source for honeybees?
view the full question and answer

Selection of trees for new home
June 30, 2008 - We are moving to Roanoke, Texas(Denton County) into a new home. Our home will have 3 trees which we can choose. They are Texas Ash, Live Oak, Sweetgum, Silver Leak maple, Cedar Elm and Bradford Pear...
view the full question and answer

Live oak trees buzzing in Taylor TX
October 20, 2012 - Is it possible for live oak trees to make a buzzing sound? We have heard this sound under our live oak and were worried it was bees but we don't seem to see any. I also heard the buzzing under my mot...
view the full question and answer

Transplant time for small smoke tree from Battle Ground WA
June 01, 2014 - When do I transplant a smoke tree that is still young, about a foot high? It is too close to a fence, which I fear will be a problem as it gets big. I live in Battle Ground, WA which is zone 6.
view the full question and answer

Transplanting a blue spruce from Pingee Grove IL
August 30, 2012 - Transplant 18" Blue spruce from 5 gal. bucket to ground.
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center