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

Sunday - February 14, 2010

From: Arlington, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Planting, Pruning, Trees
Title: Eastern redcedar uprooted by snow in Arlington, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

During the recent snowstorm one of our juniperus virginiana fell over with the rootball looking intact and with a lot of soil all around it.Should we try to save it? It is approximately 20 feet tall and we are considering trimming it back to make it a little lighter and trying to right it. It is about 30 years old and about 10-15 feet wide.

ANSWER:

We would think this is a case of nothing ventured, nothing gained. It won't cost you much except some labor and maybe some compost to try to save the Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar), but the sooner, the better. Dig the hole larger, mix in some good quality compost for drainage, and right the tree and get it back in place. You probably should try staking it, there are various kinds of staking that you can pick up at a home improvement store. Don't fertilize! When a plant is in stress (and an uprooted plant is definitely stressed) you don't want to encourage it to put on new growth, which is what fertilizer does. Those roots need time to recover, and they need to regrow the hair-like rootlets that transmit the water and nutrients to the rest of the plant. We would recommend waiting until you get the tree up and staked, and then do some pruning. Not too much all at once, it still needs those leaves to produce food for the whole plant, but it will be easier to see what you're doing and where it is out of balance if you have it upright. After you have it firmly in place and staked, stick a hose down in the soft soil, and let it dribble very slowly until water comes to the surface. If it takes more than about a half hour to drain back into the soil, you may still have too much clay and not enough compost, so go heavy on the compost to begin with, mixing it in with the resident clay. If the tree survives, remember to prune regularly and try to avoid this happening again. Late winter is a good time to prune, when the plant is at least semi-dormant, which may also help it recover.


Juniperus virginiana

Juniperus virginiana

Juniperus virginiana

Juniperus virginiana

 

 

More Planting Questions

Possible transplant shock in recently planted Anacua in San Antonio, TX.
February 10, 2011 - I planted an Anacua tree from a nursery this past November. The tree I purchased was about 6ft tall and was a leftover from the spring. The roots were pretty wound up inside. After shaking the roots l...
view the full question and answer

When to reseed wildflowers in a drought year?
October 18, 2011 - My acreage with extensive wildflowers was mowed in 2010 before annuals had seeded. Only a few returned this year. Considering the predicted lonterm drought should I postpone reseeding this fall?
view the full question and answer

Bare spot in Prairie Phlox in Austin
February 25, 2009 - I have Prairie Phlox in my garden that I have had for about 4 to 6 years. I got the original plant from the NPSOT at their booth one year at the Wildflower center. It is really lovely in the spring wh...
view the full question and answer

Horseherb planting in Richardson, TX
October 18, 2014 - What is the best time to plant 4" pots of Horseherb?
view the full question and answer

Brown spots on young redbuds in Lincoln TX
August 01, 2010 - I have lined my driveway in Lee County Texas with Red bud trees purchased both in Dripping Springs and in College Station. The 14 trees are of varying ages and heights (planted during the fall and wi...
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