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

Transplant shock in Texas natives garden
August 20, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I thought that my new Texas Natives garden was recuperating from ALL the rain. But, suddenly, my Texas Red Bud and the Eve's Necklace next to it have MANY yellow leaves. Is the...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Philadelphus Innocence mock orange from Paris TX
June 20, 2012 - What is the best place in the garden to grow Philadelphus Innocence mock orange in Paris, Tx? Also, how long after transplanting do flowers occur? Any tips appreciated
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for sun in Phenix City, AL
April 04, 2011 - I live in Phenix City, AL and am new to planting. I have a 60 x 15 feet slope that is just dirt. I am going to till it next week and want to plant some various ground cover plants (that will grow to c...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting trilliums
April 28, 2010 - What's the best time to transplant white trillium on my property on the shore of Lake Michigan?
view the full question and answer

Establishing wildflowers on a slope in Virginia
August 18, 2012 - From Roanoke Virginia. I have a steep bank rising from one side of my driveway to woods above. Different areas vary from full sun, to half day shade. It is possible to carefully walk/stand on it, we a...
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